TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

IMDA seeks public feedback on 5G plans before 2020 rollout

Key consultation areas include allocation to mobile network operators and baseline regulatory requirements.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched a public consultation to seek views from the industry and public on the appropriate regulatory frameworks and policies for 5G, an announcement revealed.

The feedback received will assist IMDA in facilitating 5G network rollout by 2020, as well as identify innovative 5G applications and services for Singapore. Overall, the vision for Singapore 5G is to offer not just faster mobile broadband, but also greater reliability, lower latency and the ability to connect more devices.

“Consumers will be able to enjoy an enhanced and immersive user experience, including access to augmented reality/virtual reality content and live streaming of 4K/8K videos,” IMDA highlighted.

IMDA is seeking to achieve policy objectives in the deployment of 5G networks in Singapore, such as facilitating efficient allocation of scarce resources (such as spectrum) and supporting the growth of the country’s telecommunication sector.

Also read: Singtel, Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic open first live 5G facility

The key areas of consultation that IMDA is inviting views on include the approach to allocate spectrum to mobile network operators (MNOs) in order to support the deployment of at least two nationwide 5G networks at the outset, as well as the baseline regulatory requirements on MNOs which are allocated the spectrum.

“These insights will guide our regulatory approach and industry development efforts in ensuring Singapore’s connectivity infrastructure remains globally competitive in support of our Digital Economy ambitions,” IMDA’s chief executive Tan Kiat How said in a statement.

The public consultation will begin on 7 May and close on 19 June.

According to IMDA, it plans to allocate the 3.5 GHz, and the 26 GHz and 28 GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) bands for 5G in the initial tranche of spectrum allocation to MNOs who are interested to deploy 5G technology. “This will be sufficient for at least two nationwide 5G networks,” the agency noted.

It also intends to assign the 5G spectrum through a Call For Proposal (CFP) regulatory process, which will require interested MNOs to submit detailed proposals on their nationwide 5G deployment plans.

“IMDA will assess these proposals based on several factors, including the ability to meet baseline regulatory requirements and the proposer’s financial capability to roll out the proposed 5G networks,” the agency said. “Such baseline requirements will be in the areas of network rollout and performance, network design and resilience, and the provision of wholesale services to other mobile operators.”

IMDA expects to issue the CFP later in 2019. 

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