The development of 5G is quite advanced but only a few manufacturers like Huawei have perfected plans for the SA network. According to a recent report from Singapore, the country has begun to invite all parties to bid for 5G licenses. The aim is that Singapore 5G would come alive in the second half of next year. Initially, Singapore regulator, IMDA, was to give licenses to two operators by mid-2020 to commence the construction of a nationwide 3.5 GHz network. However, the association has said that it will also provide more licenses for local deployment. Nevertheless, Singapore 5G will give a huge preference to operators that can deploy SA network.
IMDA on Singapore 5G
IMDA said that Singapore hopes to become one of the first countries in the world to deploy SA 5G. According to IMDA, operators with licenses must commit to providing mature 5G SA functionality in at least half of Singapore by the end of 2022. “Only SA 5G networks have the ability to support and deliver mature 5G capabilities such as network slicing, ultra-reliable low-latency communications and large-scale machine communications,” IMDA said.
In contrast, an NSA network which “utilizes existing 4G infrastructure” can only provide higher speeds. According to IMDA, the two companies that receive the national 5G license will have a 3.5GHz spectrum and an 800MHz spectrum.
The regulator pointed out that only two licenses were issued because of the limited available spectrum. In order to achieve retail competition, the two companies need to wholesale their 5G network capabilities to other operators.
IMDA said: “The network plan architecture will be able to support special 5G use cases. This requires eMBB experience, uRLLC, mMTC, and other mature 5G features such as network slicing.”
Singapore’s four operators, Singtel, StarHub, M1, and TPG, are all contesting for the 5G license auction. The two operators that fail to obtain a 5G national license will get two 800MHz millimeter-wave spectrums. These operators will now have to rely on manufacturers that can effectively deliver equipment that can deliver 5G SA network.