At least two 5G mobile networks will be rolled out in Singapore by next year.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has opened a Call For Proposal (CFP), in which keen telcos can submit proposals on their deployment plans.
The proposals will be assessed on telcos’ ability to meet baseline regulatory requirements.
These include achieving 50 per cent 5G network coverage islandwide by 2023, and willingness to sell network services wholesale to other mobile operators that are not issued airwaves.
This means Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Circles.Life, for example, could lease the network to provide 5G services too.
According to IMDA, the telco must also have the financial capability to roll out the proposed 5G networks.
The two winning submissions will then be assigned 5G airwaves.
IMDA plans to allocate the 3.5GHz, 26GHz and 28GHz airwave bands, which it said will be sufficient for at least two nationwide 5G networks.
It is currently conducting a public consultation until June 19 to seek feedback on the airwave assignment approach and the recommended annual fees for 5G airwaves usage.
The insights will help “guide (the) regulatory approach and industry development efforts in ensuring Singapore’s connectivity infrastructure remains globally competitive,” said Tan Kiat How, IMDA’s chief executive.
IMDA aims to announce the consultation results and Call-For-Proposal by the end of this year.
What’s The Value Of 5G Networks?
5G technology and networks will be a “critical part” of Singapore’s digital economy, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran in Parliament today.
Singapore hopes to be among the first to develop industrial applications such as driverless buses, autonomous excavators, and delivery drones.
The race for 5G supremacy is linked to economic progress, as 5G networks promise 20 times faster surfing speeds than what 4G networks offer and the ability to connect 1,000 times more devices.
The increased capacity and speeds means that 5G networks are able to better support industrial applications that require a constant connection without lag.
Telcos Already Conducting 5G Trials In S’pore
Three Singapore telcos — namely Singtel, StarHub and M1 — have been testing 5G applications over the past few months.
In January this year, Singtel and Ericsson set up 5G Garage at Singapore Polytechnic. It is Singapore’s first live 5G facility, which allows the testing of developing 5G innovations.
Last November, StarHub and Nokia conducted a series of tests over a live pilot 5G network installed at StarHub’s Ubi headquarters.
The tests demonstrated, among other things, how sports fans can turn to virtual reality headsets to view live events virtually lag-free over 5G.
M1 has also been conducting multi-vendor 5G technology trials since early last year.
IMDA said that it will continue to waive the airwave fees for telcos that are keen on continuing with 5G trials after this year.
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