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Singtel, StarHub-M1 joint venture win bids for 5G network licences

SINGAPORE — Singtel and a joint venture by StarHub and M1 have won bids to operate 5G networks across Singapore, announced the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Wednesday (April 29).

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile Internet, 5G promises surfing speeds 20 times faster than what's offered by 4G networks.

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile Internet, 5G promises surfing speeds 20 times faster than what's offered by 4G networks.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — Singtel and a joint venture by StarHub and M1 have won bids to operate 5G networks across Singapore, announced the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Wednesday (April 29).

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile Internet, 5G promises surfing speeds 20 times faster than what's offered by 4G networks.

Singtel and the StarHub-M1 joint venture will be allocated 100Mhz of the 3.5Ghz radio frequency spectrum each, to deploy nationwide 5G networks, IMDA said.

Other mobile operators can access these network services through a “wholesale arrangement”, it added.

IMDA also said it will allocate millimetre-wave spectrum (mmWave) to mobile network operators for the deployment of localised high-capacity 5G hotspots. Singtel, StarHub and M1 will each be assigned 800Mhz of the mmWave spectrum.

“With this, M1, StarHub, Singtel, TPG Telecom and mobile virtual network operators would be able to offer retail 5G services to end users,” the media statement said.

The authority had received three bids – Singtel and TPG Telecom each submitted a proposal, while StarHub joined hands with M1 to put in a joint submission – by the time its call for proposal ended in mid-February.

The proposals were evaluated based on network design and resilience, network rollout and performance, price offered for one lot of 3.5Ghz band, as well as financial capability.

The announcement of the two winners on Wednesday marks the first step in the eventual awarding of 5G network licences.

IMDA said both winners will be given “provisional awards” pending completion of regulatory processes, such as the selection of spectrum lots and confirmation of technical and legal matters.

The 5G licences will be issued to the respective winners once they have completed these processes, and they can start their 5G network deployments thereafter, the authority added.

IMDA said the winners will roll out 5G standalone networks, meaning ones that do not piggyback on existing mobile networks, from January 2021.

The winners will be required to provide coverage for at least half of Singapore by end-2022, scaling up to nationwide coverage by the end of 2025.

IMDA chief executive Tan Kiat How said the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of a robust digital infrastructure and timely investments to meet Singapore’s national connectivity needs.

Describing the announcement of winning bidders as a “major milestone”, he added that the three proposals received had “met and in some cases, exceeded (its) requirements”.

Mr Tan also said: “The winners were selected based on a comprehensive assessment of how their proposals would deliver the best outcomes for businesses and consumers in Singapore.

“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.” CNA

For more stories like this, visit cna.asia

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StarHub M1 Singtel 5G

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