Niel’s MyRepublic, TPG Among Bidders for Singapore Mobile Permit

A unit of Australia’s TPG Telecom Ltd. and French billionaire Xavier Niel’s MyRepublic were among bidders for Singapore’s fourth mobile-phone license, the InfoComm Development Authority of Singapore said Thursday.

The regulator has said it wants to introduce competition in Singapore to bring down phone bills, improve services and help Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong step closer to turning Singapore into a “Smart Nation.” That may come at the expense of existing carriers including Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., which has said there’s no need to bring in a new player in the face of what’s already a saturated market.

MyRepublic, whose investors include Niel and Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group, is already an Internet services provider in Singapore. AirYotta Pte, a wireless company led by Chief Executive Officer Michael DeNoma, former head of consumer banking at Standard Chartered Plc, also put in a bid, it said in a statement.

The city-state is expected to award the winning bidder by mid-October. The mobile phone license for the new player starts in April 2017 and the company will be given 18 months to complete its network.