Singtel, StarHub, and M1 are the major carriers in Singapore which will build the country’s major 5G network. They have the 3.5GHz and millimeter-wave spectrum and are the main suppliers to build two national 5G networks in Singapore. Market leader SingTel chose Ericsson to provide independent networking (SA) 5G wireless access network, core network, and millimeter-wave network. However, StarHub and M1 chose Nokia as their wireless access network partner. Both companies said that the final contract is being worked out.
StarHub said that Nokia is also the preferred supplier of its core network and millimeter-wave network. The operator pointed out that it is also exploring with Huawei and ZTE on other network elements. The Information and Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore granted operators two licenses to build two national 5G networks (SA) in April this year.
The regulator explained that the spectrum was released after the two companies completed the required regulatory procedures. This includes the selection of preferred frequency bands, suppliers, and other technical and legal matters.
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Newcomer TPG Telecom, who missed the national license, will use millimeter-wave to deploy localized networks. Chinese manufacturing giant, Huawei, is one of its major equipment suppliers.
Chua Sock Koong, CEO of Singapore Telecom Group, said the company intends to “go beyond access and connectivity and create new enterprise use cases and innovative platforms, applications, and services to reposition itself to integrate technology and telecommunications in the growing ecosystem”.
Starting in late July, consumers will be able to view compatible devices in the flash store, while trying out 5G applications including cloud games and immersive entertainment.
In a statement, StarHub expressed its belief that this technology “will be a key enabler of the strategic development and management of smart nations, because many essential services in Singapore will pass through millions of terminal devices and sensors with 5G network interconnection”.
Operators building nationwide 5G networks need to provide at least $55 million each to obtain the scarce 3.5GHz band spectrum. StarHub and M1 said their cooperation will enable the two companies to optimize infrastructure and spectrum costs. StarHub believes that simultaneously operating a nationwide and smaller 5G network will accelerate the launch of 5G services to consumers and businesses. The smaller 5G networks will use a millimeter-wave spectrum with a smaller coverage area. This kind of spectrum resources is readily available in Singapore. The millimeter-wave networks can be available as early as this year.