Singapore is closer to getting proper, next stage 5G services after Singtel picked Ericsson for its standalone 5G deployment.
Under the deal, Ericsson will supply the telco with RAN products and a dual-mode 5G core network. The network will run on Singtel’s 3.5-GHz and 28-GHz networks, which provide coverage both indoors and outdoors. Singtel is also rolling out standalone 5G on millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum in hotspots throughout the city state.
“Singtel is committed to building a secure, resilient, world-class 5G network that will serve as the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy,” said Singtel CTO Mark Chong, in a statement. “We are pleased to be working with Ericsson, leveraging on its industry-leading 5G capabilities and to deliver innovative applications and transformative customer experiences for our consumers and enterprises.”
Singtel launched a non-standalone 5G network at the beginning of September, offering 20,000 eligible customers a three-month free trial of the service. It has since been pushing hard on getting standalone 5G and mobile edge computing (MEC) up and running. In October, it launched a limited trial for enterprises in partnership with Ericsson. The first enterprise to try out the network was cloud gaming provider Ubitus, which reported an 85 percent reduction in latency compared to Singtel’s 4G network.
In addition to cloud gaming, Ericsson and Singtel are also touting the benefits that standalone 5G can bring to augmented/virtual reality, real-time human-to-robot collaboration, autonomous transport, remote healthcare, smart manufacturing, and smart cities.
As Ericsson pointed out in its press release, the Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) this year ranked Singapore as having the most competitive economy in the world for the second year running. In addition to trade, investment, and employment, the IMD also cited Singapore’s telecoms and technology infrastructure as playing a key role in its competitiveness.
It is little wonder then that Singtel is moving rapidly towards standalone 5G.
“Singtel is determined to play a leading role in keeping Singapore at the cutting edge of technology innovation and to ensure that the whole nation benefits from 5G,” said Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and Philippines.
“As a long-standing partner, we are equally determined to work alongside Singtel to ensure its subscribers and business customers enjoy the best experiences and opportunities that 5G has to offer,” he said.