Four companies have applied to bid for the four licenses on offer in Singapore's upcoming 3G (third-generation) auction, the country's regulatory body Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) announced Tuesday.
The auction, scheduled for April 23, now has the potential to be one of the dullest on record, with no incentive for any company to bid beyond the S$100 million (US$55.8 million) reserve price for each license.
The four applicants include the three existing operators of mobile phone services here - Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), StarHub and Mobile One Asia (M1). The fourth applicant is Hong Kong-based Sunday Communications.
IDA will assess the applications and announce the parties who will be eligible to participate in the 3G Spectrum Rights auction by April 2, IDA said in a statement.
When IDA set up the auction process in November, worldwide interest in 3G was high, and IDA was concerned about bidders illicitly acting in collusion to force down the license price. That fear has been laid to rest by the disappointing bidder turnout, which comes one week after Australia conducted a lukewarm 3G auction that raised less than half the money the government originally expected.
IDA can be contacted at +65-322-1999 or online at http://www.ida.gov.sg/.