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Fresh off the unveiling of a new logo, Singapore telco Singtel has announced plans to work with Swedish company Ericsson to bring a 5G network to local consumers.

As reported by Today, this announcement is in line with Singapore’s goal to be a Smart Nation, and will benefit both individual as well as commercial consumers. The two companies have signed a deal to explore the possibilities of bringing 5G to Singapore, and will begin commercial trials as soon as 2020.

A 5G network will improve not only Internet speed, but will also be beneficial in areas like health and sports.

Singtel and Chinese telco Huawei also launched the 5G Joint Innovation Program last year. (Image Credit: channelnewsasia.com
Singtel and Chinese telco Huawei also launched the 5G Joint Innovation Program last year. (Image Credit: channelnewsasia.com)

In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, Mr Tay Soo Meng, Group Chief Technology Officer of Singtel, explained that a faster network would be useful for things like driverless cars as well, which Singapore is currently testing. It is expected that athe5G network would allow driverless cars to react — and brake — faster in times of emergency, improving safety standards.

5G network speeds will run about 20 to 30 times faster than the current 4G one, but analysts explain that even our current network has not been fully utilised yet.

Mr Naveen Menon, head of communications, media and technology practice at A.T. Kearney, told Channel NewsAsia, “By all means, 5G will be useful and the applications, the hardware, the software and the consumer needs will evolve over time. But at this particular point in time, 4G has got still a lot of potential and (…) there’s a lot of room still left to for mobile operators and content providers to capitalise on 4G technology.”

So while it seems as though a 5G network will take a while to reach Singaporeans, we can take heart in the untapped potential of a 4G network that mobile operators will hopefully be bringing to us soon.

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