Liberty Wireless, a regional MVNO, has reached an agreement with Singapore’s third largest mobile operator M1 to use its mobile network to launch voice and data services towards the end of the year.
Liberty, which will use the Circles Asia brand in Singapore, said in a statement it “aims to transform the regional telecommunications industry by introducing innovative packages and an unparalleled customer experience”.
Using M1’s 3G and 4G networks, Singapore-based Liberty plans to be the country’s first MVNO to offer postpaid voice, messaging and data services.
M1 chief commercial officer Lee Kok Chew said the partnership will bring about a new value proposition and added choice to consumers.
Liberty director Rameez Ansar told Mobile World Live that its focus will be on the data-savvy postpaid consumer market. “There are a number of unmet needs in the market, especially for today’s smartphone users, when current products and services are compared to the most advanced markets in the world.”
He said Circles Asia has created a virtual model by setting up its own cloud-based network core running on top of M1’s towers and its data pipe. “Our objective is to empower mobile users with control over their communication needs and set the standard for how telco services should be delivered in Singapore and across the region.”
In addition to its deal with Liberty Wireless, M1 also hosts two MVNOs (PLDT and ZTAR Mobile Asia) that have offered prepaid mobile services for a number of years.
Singapore has three mobile operators — SingTel, StarHub and M1 — but the telecoms regulator has been taking steps to encourage a fourth mobile player to join the market. Today the IDA proposed setting aside 60MHz of spectrum at a lower reserve price in a separate auction to be open only to new entrants.
Given the huge capex required to launch a network, the IDA is aiming to lower the barrier to entry by setting the reserve price at SDG40 million ($29.5 million) for the entire 60MHz block. A total of 225MHz is scheduled to go on sale in the next auction.