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StarHub and U Mobile successfully conduct cross-border 5G SA trial

By Liu Hongzuo - on 5 Oct 2020, 2:13pm

StarHub and U Mobile successfully conduct cross-border 5G SA trial

Multi-party video calls over 5G SA networks is now slightly closer to fruition in Singapore. Image: StarHub.

StarHub and Malaysian telco U Mobile successfully completed a multi-party, roaming video conference call using 5G SA (standalone) technology, according to their joint statement released today.

If you're wondering why a cross-border video call is such a big deal, that's because the call was made on 5G networks that do not rely on 4G infrastructure (hence the 'standalone' nomenclature). That, and it was among four users at the same time, and it was 'lag-free' and 'super-clear' according to the trial participants.

The test was conducted with two StarHub and two U Mobile SIM cards via popular messaging apps on 5G-ready smartphones. The StarHub SIM cards were in Malaysia, while the U Mobile ones were in Singapore (hence the roaming aspect from both ends).

U Mobile network speeds when pinging StarHub servers in Singapore. Image by StarHub.

On top of a successful video-call trial, both companies also achieved download speeds of 1.3Gbps and a latency of 5ms on average. The joint statement claimed that this is ten times faster than existing 4G speeds.

According to StarHub, the success of such 5G SA trials are a necessary step towards enabling practical consumer use of 5G networks. More specifically:

"At StarHub, bringing new and customer-focused innovation has always been our priority. First to unleash 5G non-standalone services for Singapore consumers and businesses in August, we are now delighted to have crossed another major 5G milestone with U Mobile in the journey towards 5G SA commercialisation in both countries. Our successful 5G SA trial with U Mobile is an exciting prelude to how 5G will enable everyone and everything to enjoy closer connections, remote collaboration and productivity boosts and unified communications wherever they are", said StarHub's Chief Technology Officer Chong Siew Loong.

Over at Singapore's side of things, these tests were done on a trial 3.5GHz band spectrum of StarHub's. U Mobile was using a 100MHz C-band spectrum that was assigned by their network authorities.

"U Mobile is excited to have completed this significant 5G SA roaming trial with StarHub. As this is the one of the first of its kind trial in the world, the key learnings received will be extremely beneficial and it will be applied to accelerate the roll-out and take-up of 5G roaming services in Malaysia and Singapore once 5G becomes commercially available in both countries. When it is eventually commercially launched, 5G SA roaming will enhance cross-border connectivity needs between both countries especially for business communities and those who regularly commute between both sides of the border", said U Mobile's Chief Technology Officer Woon Ooi Yuen.