Singapore’s public transport operator SMRT announced plans to back telecoms upstart OMGTel in its bid to become the city-state’s fourth mobile operator.
SMRT said in a stock exchange filing it has an option to invest up to SGD34.5 million ($25.3 million) in OMGTel if it is successful in obtaining a licence.
OMGTel was incorporated in October by Consistel, a local technology group, to bid for the country’s fourth mobile operator licence, which won’t be available until next year. Regulator IDA has said in the past it plans to release more spectrum, but won’t make a decision on how to do that until early next year. Last year’s 4G auction only attracted the three incumbents (SingTel, StarHub and M1).
OMGTel joins broadband provider MyRepublic in announcing intentions to bid for the fourth licence.
Consistel chairman Masoud Bassiri is reported as saying rolling out a new network would require an investment of about $1 billion and just one year, and that with new technologies it would cost 30-40 per cent less than the incumbents had to spend.
The company has said it will offer lower rates under the OMG! brand.
OMGTel has already appointed an advisory board and worked out a mobile backhaul agreement with optical networks access provider SP Telecommunications.
TeleGeography reported that the newcomer was involved in a dispute with SingTel, StarHub and M1 early this year over the rights to use its mobile equipment in the country’s so-called Sports Hub. Consistel builds and hosts all the wireless systems, including 3G and 4G gear, in the Sports Hub, which it leases to the three operators. IDA had to intervene to resolve the conflict.