S'pore to roll out 5G network from Jan 2021, nationwide coverage by 2025

You can look forward to faster Internet speed.

Julia Yeo | Kayla Wong | April 29, 2020, 06:39 PM

5G networks will be rolled out in Singapore from Jan. 2021, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on April 29, 2020.

5G networks to be rolled out nationwide by 2025

IMDA announced that Singtel Mobile Singapore Pte Ltd (Singtel) and the Joint-Venture Consortium (JVCo) formed by StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd (StarHub) and M1 Limited (M1) as the winners of its 5G Call for Proposal on April 29.

The winners of the proposal can start the process of 5G network deployment after completing regulatory processes.

The winners will roll out Standalone (SA) networks from Jan. 2021, and will be required to provide coverage for at least half of Singapore by end-2022.

By the end of 2025, 5G networks with full-fledged capabilities will be scaled up to nationwide coverage.

Singapore among early group of nations to offer full-fledged 5G services

"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," said S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information (MCI).

He added that amid the challenge of Covid-19, the investment in Singapore's 5G infrastructure will prepare Singapore for the eventual recovery and help digitalisation.

He also said that Singapore will be "among the early group of nations" to offer "full-fledged capabilities and services of 5G".

Besides Singtel and the JVCo between StarHub and M1, other mobile operators may access the 5G network services through a wholesale arrangement.

M1, StarHub, Singtel, TPG Telecom and mobile virtual network operators would be able to offer retail 5G services to end users.

Vendor diversity

In response to a question from the media if TPG was not selected as it uses Chinese tech giant Huawei as a vendor, Iswaran rejected the speculation, and said Huawei is not exclusively used by TPG as other operators use it as well.

He also reiterated that the ministry's focus has not been about particular vendors, and that it has been on overall network resilience and security, and ensuring vendor diversity.

He said: "And we believe that based on the CFP (Call For Proposal) process, the kind of commitments that have been made by the telcos, and in terms of what else is required after before the final award."

"We think that that will be accomplished."

IMDA also asserts that while mobile operators' choice of vendors is a "commercial decision", they are subject to the commitments made in the 5G CFP, and must satisfy IMDA's resilience and cybersecurity requirements.

5G infrastructure will support 'vibrant innovation ecosystem'

With full-fledged 5G network capabilities, businesses and consumers will benefit from faster network speeds among other applications.

Users can also look forward to faster speeds and exciting applications such as AR/VR learning and cloud gaming.

The new infrastructure will also support a more vibrant innovation ecosystem, said IMDA, which will drive business transformation for all.

Consumers and businesses can expect competitive prices, innovative and good quality services, shared IMDA.

'Comprehensive security & resilience requirements' in place for 5G network operators

Comprehensive security and resilience requirements for 5G network operators will be put in place, IMDA said.

A 5G Security Testbed Programme will be established by IMDA, for technology exploration and to protect users against 5G network cyber threats and vulnerability.

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