The IDA should have spectrum available for LTE earlier than 2015
Under the IDAs current plans, the 2.3GHz/2.6GHz bands are unlikely to be available for reassignment in Singapore in the next two years, as the existing spectrum rights for WiMAX dont expire until 2015. Given that all three mobile networks operators are currently operating trial LTE services, this is a long wait until full commercial launch. The IDA is likely to consider allocating spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands earlier perhaps in 2012 by which time the current LTE trial is expected to have demonstrated strong demand for LTE services in Singapore.
The IDA should also recognize the increasing global interest in LTE technology. According to Ovums latest LTE rollout tracker (HSPA/HSPA+/LTE rollout/plan tracker), so far 25 operators have publicly announced plans to have a LTE network in service by the end of 2012, and we expect more commitments later this year. Given the strong trend of LTE deployment across the world, the IDA should consider reassigning the 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands for commercial launch of LTE as soon as possible.
The writer is an Ovum analyst.
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