TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singtel and Starhub-M1 JV wins 5G spectrum

They are expected to progressively roll out the networks starting 2021.

Singtel and the joint-venture consortium (JVCo) between Starhub and M1 have been picked to deploy nationwide 5G networks in Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced.

Singtel and the JVCo will be assigned 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum each. They will be given provisional awards, pending their completion of regulatory processes such as selection of spectrum lots and confirmation of technical and legal matters.

Also read: 5G's success in Singapore hangs on competition and consumer acceptance

Meanwhile, other mobile operators can access these network services through a wholesale arrangement.

Further, IMDA will allocate mmWave spectrum to mobile network operators to deploy localised high-capacity 5G hotspots. Singtel, StarHub and M1 will also be assigned 800MHz of mmWave spectrum each.

The winners will roll out 5G Standalone (SA) networks from January 2021. They will be required to provide coverage for at least half of Singapore by end-2022, scaling up to nationwide coverage by end 2025.

According to a report from RHB, the initial demand for 5G is expected to largely come from the enterprise space, where trials of multiple use cases across various industry verticals are already at an advanced stage.

“The consumer/mass market is likely to see a more gradual pick-up in 5G adoption given the lack of a critical mass of applications coupled with the already high fiber penetration in the country,” the report noted.

In a separate statement, StarHub said that it is broadcasting ‘live’ 5G signals from its headquarters.

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