Singaporean operator M1 appeared to beat its rivals to the punch in launching commercial 5G services on a non-standalone (NSA) network, albeit with a deployment offering limited coverage.
In a statement, M1 said the network covers the central business district, Orchard Road, Suntec City and Marina Bay, with key commercial and residential centres across Singapore scheduled by the year-end. The company said it is on track to start the rollout of its standalone (SA) 5G network in early 2021.
The operator said all customers with compatible devices can access the service, with monthly data plans beginning at SGD15 ($10.91) for a package including 25GB of data.
Its 5G network partner StarHub introduced a trial service in August using the NSA architecture, with plans for a commercial SA launch by mid-2021.
Market leader Singtel launched its NSA 5G network using the 3.5GHz band in selected areas of the city state on 1 September, offering free three-month trials for the first 20,000 customers.
The government awarded licences for two SA 5G networks in April, allocating 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum to the StarHub and M1 joint venture, and Singtel.
Operators are required to cover at least half of Singapore by end-2022.