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Five things you need to know about TPG, Singapore’s 4th telco

SINGAPORE — The authorities announced on Wednesday (Dec 14) that Australian telco TPG Telecom had snagged the fourth telco licence, beating out homegrown firm MyRepublic.

Screencap from TPG's website

Screencap from TPG's website

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SINGAPORE — The authorities announced on Wednesday (Dec 14) that Australian telco TPG Telecom had snagged the fourth telco licence, beating out homegrown firm MyRepublic.

It is set to become the Republic’s newest mobile-network operator, after incumbents Singtel, StarHub and M1.

Here are five things you need to know about TPG:

1. Born in 1986 as a computer equipment firm, TPG was started by its Malaysia-born executive chairman David Teoh. Mr Teoh, who emigrated to Australia that same year, is Australia’s ninth richest person whose net worth was most recently estimated at US$1.58 billion (S$2.27 billion), according to Forbes.

2. TPG is Australia’s second-biggest telco after Telstra, following its acquisition of rival iiNet for A$1.56 billion (S$1.66 billion) in September last year. It has a market capitalisation of nearly A$6 billion, latest Bloomberg data showed on Thursday.

3. The firm is known for its affordable broadband packages in Australia, with prices beating those of its competitors. For example, TPG’s 100GB National Broadband Network (NBN) plan costs A$49.99 a month, compared with a monthly rate of A$75 for a similar package at Telstra, Australia’s largest telco.

4. The firm plans to start offering services here in early 2018 and establish a mobile network with nationwide coverage by September in the same year.

5. On top of its S$105 million winning bid for the spectrum rights to become Singapore’s fourth telco, it expects to pump in an extra S$200 to S$300 million in capital investment, to get its nationwide mobile network running. The company expects to become “EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) positive” when it snags a market share of between 5 and 6 per cent, which it believes would be reached “within a short period of time”.

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