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Singapore prepares for thriving 5G ecosystem

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The Infocomm Media Development Authority have issued the Final Awards to Singtel Mobile Pte Ltd and the Joint-Venture Consortium (JVCo1) formed by StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd  and M1 Limited, at the close of the 5G Call for Proposal process. Singtel and JVCo were issued the Provisional Awards in April this year.

Deployment of 5G Networks

The Final Awards were issued to Singtel and JVCo after they completed the required regulatory processes, including the selection of their preferred frequency spectrum lots, vendor partners and other technical and legal matters.

Both Singtel and JVCo have also satisfied other Call For Proposal requirements, including on network rollout and performance, coverage, resilience, cybersecurity and vendor diversity.

Singtel and JVCo can now proceed to deploy nationwide 5G standalone networks that deliver full-fledged 5G capabilities. These networks are complemented by localised mmWave deployments to provide high capacity 5G coverage.

TPG Telecom Pte Ltd (TPG) has also applied for and is being allocated the remaining frequency spectrum in the millimeter wave band to roll out 5G networks on a localised basis. This would allow TPG to roll out localised 5G networks.

Wholesale arrangements for the use of 5G networks provided by Singtel and JVCo will be available to TPG and mobile virtual network operators, which can in turn offer retail 5G services to end users.

Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, said, “This 5G Final Award marks the closure of a robust and rigorous CFP process. With this, it sets the stage for the development of a world-class, resilient and secure 5G infrastructure which will be the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy. We remain on track for nationwide 5G standalone deployment by 2025. We will build upon this infrastructure to create a vibrant 5G ecosystem, offering exciting opportunities and benefits for individuals, workers and businesses in Singapore’s digital future.”

Using 5G technologies to create opportunities in all sectors

The government plans to build strong partnerships with industry to build sustainable 5G business use cases, and develop strong manpower capabilities to utilise 5G technologies, creating a successful 5G ecosystem in Singapore.

In June 2019, IMDA partnered the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and PSA Corporation Ltd to trial the use of 5G in facilitating safer and more efficient maritime operations. The trials validated the value of 5G. Its higher bandwidth, lower latency and enhanced reliability helped to enhance the productivity and efficiency of port operations and workers.

IMDA is launching a 5G Living Lab@PIXEL in September 2020 to facilitate industry efforts to develop new 5G solutions and build up technical capabilities.

Businesses, including SMEs, will be able to develop and test 5G-enabled devices and applications, as well as gain insights from sharing sessions and masterclasses with PIXEL’s broader ecosystem of innovative infocomm media start-ups.

While there is potential for many different use cases, as a start, the facility will focus on augmented reality/virtual reality which is critical for in-person experiences. This is especially relevant today, given the increasing need for remote events and activities to support sectors such as retail and construction that have been affected by COVID-19.

Building a 5G-ready workforce

As part of the efforts to build a pipeline of 5G-ready workforce across the telecom sector and the wider 5G ecosystem, IMDA is partnering Institutes of Higher Learning and the industry to offer 5G-related training programmes. This will support new job opportunities such as Network Engineers, Radio Frequency Engineers, and develop new skills such as Network Security and Network Slicing.

IMDA is also working closely with the mobile network operators through the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme to develop tailored in-house training plans to support their 5G talent development and deployment. In addition, IMDA is partnering training providers to provide new 5G courses, such as in 5G Network Architecture and Network Function Virtualisation.

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