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Singtel, StarHub, M1 wins additional 5G spectrum rights, TPG gets new 5G spectrum

By Liu Hongzuo - on 29 Nov 2021, 12:50pm

Singtel, StarHub, M1 wins additional 5G spectrum rights, TPG gets new 5G spectrum

Singapore's 'first underwater 5G livestream' of S.E.A Aquarium was made possible with the help of Singtel's 5G network. Source: Singtel.

Infocomm Media Authority (IMDA) announced the winners of the 2.1GHz spectrum rights, and they are none other than your four main telcos (Singtel, StarHub, M1, and TPG). 

Provisionally, Singtel gets five lots of 5MHz paired spectrum, while M1 and StarHub will share five lots of 5MHz paired spectrum as they contested for rights as a consortium. TPG receives two lots. The additional spectrum for 5G deployment meant that your Big Three (Singtel, StarHub, and M1) gets a wider 5G spectrum, therefore more 5G coverage and stability. TPG’s 2.1GHz spectrum will become its first 5G network (a requirement set by IMDA for winning these rights).

Winners of the provisioned spectrum are expected to deploy 5G standalone networks with 50% coverage by end-2022, and nationwide coverage by 2025. As TPG is new to the 5G game, they will be operating on a separate timeline, but are still expected to get 5G SA coverage nationwide in five years (from now).

“We are extremely pleased to be awarded 25MHz of the 2.1GHz spectrum, the maximum amount of spectrum allowed under this auction. This will help accelerate the rollout of our 5G standalone network and further strengthen our 5G leadership as we continue to support the nation’s Smart City ambitions,” said Ms Anna Yip, CEO, Consumer Singapore, Singtel.

“Network superiority is the backbone of StarHub’s newly announced five-year strategic transformation and growth programme DARE+, to give customers an ‘Infinity Play’ of endless connectivity, entertainment and other lifestyle experiences, as well as innovative business solutions, with frictionless digital-first engagement. StarHub looks forward to the finalisation of the spectrum allocation and utilisation,” said Chong Siew Loong, Chief Technology Officer of StarHub.

“The addition of the 2.1 GHz spectrum band to our 5G portfolio by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) boosts M1’s wide-area coverage for 5G in Singapore, while enabling the flexibility of 3G services to continue. Leveraging both 2.1GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum provides greater value of 5G to consumers and enterprises, and is very much a part of M1’s journey to support Singapore’s vibrant 5G ecosystem and its Smart Nation ambitions,” said M1 in an official statement.

StarHub's 5G expands further with the help of the new 2.1GHz spectrum.

The 2.1GHz spectrum was up for bid earlier this year. While none of the telcos disclosed how much moolah they’ve spent to acquire the lots, each paired lot has a proposed price of S$10-S$15 million, according to IMDA.

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