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S'pore To Have 5G Coverage By 2022 As IMDA Awards Network Licenses To Singtel, StarHub-M1

At least half of Singapore will have 5G mobile network coverage by end-2022.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced yesterday (April 29) that Singtel and a joint venture between StarHub and M1 have won the rights to build and deploy two nation-wide 5G networks in IMDA’s 5G Call for Proposal (CFP).

The 5G mobile network offers surfing speeds 20 times faster than the current 4G networks.

We received three compelling proposals that met and in some cases, exceeded our requirements. The winners were selected based on a comprehensive assessment of how their proposals would deliver the best outcomes for businesses and consumers in Singapore.

– Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA

Four telcos submitted their bids – Singtel and newcomer TPG submitted solo bids, while StarHub teamed up with M1 in a joint bid. TPG was the only telco that was not picked.

“The on-going COVID-19 situation underscores the criticality of a robust digital infrastructure and the importance of timely investments to meet our national connectivity needs. The 5G award is a major milestone.”

“Beyond a connectivity infrastructure, we believe that 5G networks will spur innovation, create exciting business and job opportunities, and position Singapore as a leading digital economy,” continued IMDA’s Chief Executive.

Image Credit: Edgar Su/Reuters

Two Nationwide Networks With Full-fledged 5G Capabilities By 2025

Singtel, StarHub and M1 will be allocated radio frequency spectrum to deploy nationwide 5G networks. Other mobile operators can access these network services through “a wholesale arrangement”, IMDA said.

Additionally, IMDA will allocate mmWave spectrum to mobile network operators to deploy localised high-capacity 5G hotspots.

Singapore is forging ahead with our vision to have a world-class, secure and resilient 5G infrastructure that will be the backbone of our digital economy. 

By 2025, Singapore will have two nationwide networks with full-fledged 5G capabilities that will spur innovation and create exciting opportunities. 

– Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information

“Amid today’s COVID-19 challenges, the investments in Singapore’s 5G infrastructure underscore long-term business confidence in our economy, and will ready us for the eventual recovery to build a thriving digital future for our people, businesses and industries,” continued Mr S Iswaran.

5G To Secure Singapore’s Competitive Edge

5G Network
Image Credit: Telecom Review Asia

The deployment of 5G mobile networks will keep Singapore in pace with first-mover cities in other countries.

Both winners will be given Provisional Awards, pending their completion of regulatory processes, such as selection of spectrum lots and confirmation of technical and legal matters.

IMDA will issue 5G licences to the respective winners once they have completed these processes. Winners can start their 5G network deployments thereafter.

Also, a 5G Security Testbed Programme will be established for technology exploration and to better protect Singapore against 5G network cyber threats, said IMDA.

Additionally, IMDA and the National Research Foundation had earlier set aside $40 million to support 5G trials to drive new mobile experiences for everyone. Consumers can also look forward to faster speeds and exciting applications such as AR/VR learning and cloud gaming. 

Consumers and businesses can expect competitive prices as the winners will be required to provide 5G wholesale services to other mobile operators.

Featured Image Credit: Techgoondu / Asia.nikkei / Unsplash

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