StarHub today announced that it is embarking on a multi-million dollar capital expenditure that will go towards mobile network enhancements. In addition, its 4G network currently covers 75% of the island, and is on track to hit 95% street-level deployment by October 2013.
Some of the mobile network upgrading includes the installation of higher-capacity 4G and 3G base stations, enhancing the traffic handling capacity of its transmission backbone, and exploring large-scale small cell deployment to enhance coverage and capacity. Concurrently, StarHub has been upgrading its dedicated fibre transmission backbone to support up to 1Gbps connection to each base station since April 2012.
Its 3G network is also the first in Singapore to use the 900MHz spectrum band to increase capacity, boost in-building coverage and further reduce its low dropped call rate. By December 2013, StarHub's 3G base station count is expected to increase by more than 40%.
To address the rapid increase in mobile video traffic and maintain an optimal user experience, StarHub has invested in a video streaming optimisation solution, which intelligently scales videos to fit the resolution and screen size of mobile users’ device. Operational by year-end, this network feature will help consumers use less data as less bandwidth is required for each video session.
In addition, StarHub is exploring the use of edge caching to further improve web page load times by autonomously pushing popular web content to specific base stations based on user demand.
StarHub claims to be the first in Singapore to have started testing small cell technologies, which will be vital to enhancing network performance especially in high traffic density areas and coverage blind spots in the near future.
Besides existing customer feedback channels, StarHub will launch a mobile app in Q3 2013 for its customers to easily submit location-specific feedback about the mobile network.
The three telcos in Singapore are aggressively rolling out plans to enhance their mobile network infrastructures. M1 announced on 21 May that it has appointed Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a Small Cell (Femtocell) solution, which will be made available in Q3 2013. The network improvement work is valued at between S$5 million and S$20 million, depending on the extent of the deployment. SingTel revealed on 23 April that it is spending S$150 million on nationwide roll out of its 4G network and other network upgrading projects.