MyRepublic, which aims to bid for Singapore’s fourth mobile licence later this year, insists that its lower cost base and plans to return to unlimited data tariffs mean it can start small and still be profitable within three years, Bloomberg reported.

The ISP is targeting 250,000 customers in its first year and 700,000 users, or a 9 per cent share within three years, said CEO Malcolm Rodrigues in an interview with Bloomberg.

Rodrigues expects as a new entrant, without legacy systems, to have a big cost advantage over rivals Singtel and StarHub, which together have a 77 per cent market share.

He said it will need about SGD300 million ($214 million ), less than a third of the conventional infrastructure cost, to build a nationwide 4G network as it can use its existing facilities used for its internet business, Bloomberg reported. It has about 500,000 fixed-line broadband users.

Spectrum auction
Of course, MyRepublic must first win the spectrum auction, which is expected in Q3.

Singapore’s Info-Communications Development Authority (IDA) last month released a detailed framework for its previously announced spectrum allocation, which Fitch Ratings says will ease the path for the entry of a fourth mobile operator and intensify competition.

The regulator lowered the reserve price for the 60MHz of spectrum that will be set aside for a new operator to SGD35 million ($25 million) from SGD40 million and doubled the allocation of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band to 40MHz.

An economic study by IDA found that a new MNO may potentially bring about net long-term benefits that are driven by price decreases, as well as non-price improvements in service and pricing innovation.

Last September the country’s three mobile operators came out strongly against the government’s measures to encourage a fourth player to join the field and said the small market doesn’t need additional competition.