Heads-up, a fourth mobile operator might appear real soon. Cross your fingers that it'll offer better rates than SingTel, StarHub and M1.
The Singapore Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is calling for entrants to roll out more mobile services here. Interested mobile operators will most likely buy airtime in bulk from existing operators as a start-up option. These mobile operators operating in such a function, instead of building physical mobile networks, are known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
In short, this'll mean competitive pricing and consumers will have more options when they're dissatisfied with their current telco. Given the recent announcement by StarHub that its 4G/LTE value-added services will no longer be free from June, a fourth telco could give disgruntled users more reasons to bail out once their two-year contract is over.
The public consultation is also seeking public views on the allocation of the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands for LTE services... zzzz. Okay, we won't bore you to death with the technical details. The point is, different smartphones use different radio spectrums for its LTE connection. More frequencies means you can use more LTE-enabled gadgets that would have worked only in its intended region.
“With IDA aiming to establish Singapore as a 'Smart Nation' underpinned by high speed fixed and wireless networks, it is essential that the allocation of spectrum is able to facilitate such developments," IDA deputy chief executive and director-general of telecom, Leong Keng Thai, said.
The public consultation is open, and will end in four weeks on 20 May.