SINGAPORE, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Singaporean government announced Monday that it will set aside a grant of up to 250 million Singapore dollars (about 181 million U.S. dollars) to the winning bid to bring the country's broadband network to a new level.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) launched the request for proposal for an operating company to design, build and operate the active infrastructure of Singapore's next generation national broadband network.
The network, which is expected to be available nationwide by 2015, will offer users an upload speed of at least 50 megabits per second and a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second, according to the IDA.
This bid came under the second phase of the Next Generation National Broadband Network project.
The Singaporean government had earlier called for a separate tender in December last year to lay telecom cables for the network. The government had committed to provide a grant of up to 750 million Singapore dollars (about 543 million U.S. dollars).
The total grant will therefore be up to 1 billion Singapore dollars (about 724 million U.S. dollars) for the project.
There are 11 companies that have pre-qualified for the bid to perform the required functions, including local and foreign players.
The IDA said the winning bidder will be announced by the first quarter of next year.
The broadband penetration in Singapore reached nearly 80 percent in February this year.