Singaporean

IMDA: S'pore's 4th Telco TPG Telecom Needs Approval Before Launching Mobile Services In Q4 2018

[Update, 31 Aug 2018] TPG Telecom has made the headlines once again when it announced its plans yesterday (30 Aug) to merge with Vodafone Hutchison Australia and form a “A$15 billion telecommunications giant to take on key rivals Telstra and Optus” in the Australian market.

With the merger, TPG shareholders would own 49.9% of the entity.

The deal is expected to be completed next year, and is reported to be subject to the approval from regulators “including the Foreign Investment Review Board and competition watchdog”.

Back at home, the deal is also subject to approval by IMDA Singapore.

In light of TPG Telecom’s plans to launch its 4G services in Singapore “in the second half of 2018” according to earlier reports, an IMDA spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that while “it is aware of the merger announcement […] and TPG’s plans to separate its Singapore mobile business”, the telco would first need to get its approval before any restructuring can be done.

“IMDA’s priority is to ensure that TPG Singapore will fully meet all its licence and regulatory obligations, and that there is no adverse impact to Singapore’s competitive industry landscape or the public interest,” added the spokesperson.

In response, a TPG spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that its Singapore operation is “already being run by a strong locally-based team”, and is “well capitalised to execute on its plans prior to the separation”.

It also mentioned that it “had earlier engaged IMDA of its plans to separate the Singapore business, and intends to work through any necessary regulatory consent and approval process prior to the restructuring taking effect”.

Said TPG chairman David Teoh, “As we approach the completion of the outdoor coverage milestone and the commencement of trial services, now is the right time to allow the Singapore business to flourish under its own power. I am tremendously excited about the opportunities for TPG Singapore.”

Its initial mobile product trial in Singapore is expected to be rolled out in the fourth quarter of 2018.

It has been over a year since the announcement that Australian firm TPG Telecom won the bid to become Singapore’s 4th telco – more specifically, we reported the news back in December 2016.

Since then, new digital telcos/competitors like Zero Mobile and Zero1 have popped up with attractive-sounding plans, and Circles.Life has pulled off large-scale publicity events – all in a bid to capture the 4G-using market in Singapore.

TPG Telecom, however, has remained silent since the announcement in 2016, leading many to even forget that they won the bid to become our 4th telco.

Today, they finally broke their silence, and shared some updates with the media.

‘Free’ SIM For Seniors

TPG announced that it will be targeting seniors aged 65 and above when it launches its services, as “part of its commitment to contribute to Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative”.

Its mobile plan for seniors will include a SIM card, 3GB of monthly data, and unlimited calls to local mobile numbers at “no charge for the first 24 months”.

The data allowance in the plan is “aimed at encouraging the elderly to get more out of their mobile by surfing the Web, using apps like WhatsApp and WeChat, and navigating with map apps”.

“Of course, TPG will have other exciting mobile offers for the public in the near future,” added TPG Telecom’s executive chairman David Teoh.

“Well On Track” For 4G Network

In the announcement, it also revealed that it is “well on track” to deliver services on its 4G network in the second half of 2018.

More details, like its network coverage and release date will be shared in “its next update”.

Featured Image Credit: Yahoo Finance

 

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