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Singtel, StarHub-M1 joint bid win provisional 5G network licences

By Ken Wong - on 29 Apr 2020, 9:02pm

Singtel, StarHub-M1 joint bid win provisional 5G network licences

The three winning telcos

A joint bid by StarHub and M1 and one from Singtel for a license to operate a 5G network across Singapore were awarded by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in an announcement on Wednesday. 5G networks promise surfing speeds 20 times faster than 4G networks, and the ability to connect 1,000 times as many devices.

While calling for 5G proposal submissions last year, the IMDA said that proposals would be assessed on network design and resilience, network rollout and performance, the price offered for one lot of 3.5GHz band, as well as financial capability.

Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran said at a press event announcing the winning bids that 5G networks are an important investment in Singapore's digital infrastructure.

IMDA said both winners will be given “provisional awards” pending completion of regulatory processes, such as the selection of spectrum lots and confirmation of technical and legal matters. Nationwide coverage is limited to only two networks because of the scarcity of certain 5G airwaves for Singapore-wide reach.

The CEOs of M1 and Starhub at the announcement of their joint bid.

M1 and StarHub say they will be using the 3.5GHz spectrum when deploying their 5G services via standalone architecture (SA), as well as non-standalone architecture (NSA) using the 800MHz of mmWave spectrum. They say the dual approach will fast track the rollout of services, which is important as one of the requirements from IMDA is that at least 50% of the city-state will be covered with a standalone 5G network by the end of 2022, with nationwide coverage by 2025.

 

Deploying 5G use cases

All the telcos have been heavily involved in trials of 5G solutions beyond those consumers would commonly use.

StarHub and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) launched the NYP-StarHub Application & Experience Centre for 5G (APEX 5G) with industry partners to develop and implement use cases for 5G in Singapore.

At this year’s Chingay Parade, M1 leveraged its 5G SA technology to live-stream aerial footage of the longest dragon dance, one of the key highlights of the parade through the lens of a camera drone. M1 also collaborated with Haidilao’s new flagship restaurant to turn it into a smart restaurant with enhanced customer experience.

Singtel partnered with Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic to launch a live 5G test facility to trial new 5G use cases for SMBs and industries such as transportation, logistics, healthcare and manufacturing. They also teamed up with Razer and the IMDA to trial 5G in cloud gaming.