NERA Consultants Assist Singapore Regulator in Designing and Implementing New Mobile Operator Auction

The Situation

The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) successfully concluded an auction for a fourth mobile license in Singapore on 14 December 2016. The license includes spectrum in the 900 MHz and 2300 MHz mobile bands. MyRepublic, a local internet service provider (ISP), and TPG Telecom, an Australian ISP, qualified to participate in the auction. The auction started at a reserve price of S$35 million, and, after 17 rounds of bidding, TPG won the license with a winning bid of S$105 million.

NERA's Role

NERA Managing Director Richard Marsden, a global expert in the design of spectrum auctions, led the NERA team as project director. He was supported on the ground by NERA Senior Consultant Hans-Martin Ihle, who helped facilitate training sessions with bidders and supported IMDA throughout the auction. We advised IMDA on the design and implementation of both stages of the auction.

The Result

NERA’s advice and support to IMDA ensured that the auction ran smoothly. TPG will be required to utilize the allocated spectrum to provide nationwide street-level coverage for 4G within 18 months from the start of the license. IMDA is now able to proceed to the second stage of the auction in the first quarter of 2017. This auction will include spectrum in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, and 2500 MHz mobile bands, and will be open to the existing incumbents: M1, Singtel Mobile, and StarHub Mobile, in addition to TPG.

NERA is a leading global advisor to government agencies and private-sector companies on the design and implementation of high-stakes auctions. The IMDA auction is the latest in a long track record of successful design and implementation of auctions in the telecommunications and energy sectors.