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    Sep 02, 2016

    3 firms throw hat into the ring to be 4th telco

    AFTER a long dry spell, Singapore could finally have its fourth mobile operator.

    Yesterday, three companies applied to take part in Singapore's upcoming 4G airwave auction - the first time in 15 years new companies have expressed interest in entering Singapore's mobile market.

    The interested parties are local fibre broadband operator MyRepublic, Australian telco TPG Telecom and eight-day-old firm airYotta, helmed by the former executives of OMGTel which, surprisingly, withdrew from the auction.

    Slated for early October, it will decide who gets the fourth mobile operator licence. The current telcos are Singtel, StarHub and M1.

    Shortly after the 5pm deadline for submission passed yesterday, MyRepublic and airYotta introduced their new investors and executives.

    MyRepublic announced a new strategic investor in Leonie Hill Capital, a Singapore-based investment firm, without disclosing the investment amount.

    MyRepublic chief executive officer Malcolm Rodrigues said: "It's not about cutting prices; we want to build a telco that runs on new economics, built from the ground up for the next generation of mobile services."

    airYotta announced its leadership team: chief executive officer Michael DeNoma and chief technology officer Philip Heah.

    They are the former executives of OMGTel, which announced its ambition to be the fourth telco in October 2014.

    OMGTel, partly owned by local wireless systems specialist Consistel, has ceased to exist following the formation of airYotta.

    Mr Heah said airYotta, funded by a new group of undisclosed investors, aimed to meet local consumers' insatiable demand for mobile data.

    "The mobile industry is facing a major disconnect between demand and supply of mobile data capacity, exacerbated by video-streaming, new applications and services," he added.