5G Trials in Singapore, Guam and Hong Kong

Nokia and StarHub complete “5G” New Radio pilot in Singapore

Singapore network operator StarHub and Nokia have conducted what they claim was the first outdoor live network demonstration of “5G” New Radio (NR) on the 3.5GHz frequency band in the Asian city-state.

The companies said two use cases were demonstrated to staff, industry partners and enterprise customers over ‘live’ Nokia 5G cells and core network technology at StarHub’s headquarters in Singapore.

The first use case demonstration for industrial applications replicated a manufacturing environment, demonstrating how businesses can use 5G-enabled video analytics to enhance efficiency and reduce production errors.

The use case for consumers demonstrated how sports fans can use a 5G-enabled virtual reality headsets to have immersive video experience of “live” sports events.

The trial was conducted in a 5G non-standalone network architecture, with Nokia 5G radio technology interworking with StarHub’s 4G core network.

Nokia deployed AirScale Radio Access technology with 5G NR 3GPP-compliant software and the Nokia AirFrame data center solution.

“As 5G inches closer, we are intensifying trials to identify new business opportunities and chart our network transformation roadmap to meet the demands of our customers,” said Chong Siew Loong, chief technology officer of StarHub.

“This successful pilot with Nokia showcases the readiness and possibilities of 5G to enhance consumer services and boost efficiencies for enterprises. It aligns with StarHub’s goal to support and accelerate Smart Nation initiatives in Singapore.”




NTT Docomo to establish 5G test lab in Guam

The facility, Docomo’s first overseas verification center, will allow Docomo’s Program partners to connect devices and services free of charge to the lab’s 5G base and mobile stations and related equipment.

The test environment will subsequently be extended to outdoor locations to allow verification testing in real-world outdoor environments.

The facility’s location in Guam will allow for testing according to US-market technical and regulatory conditions.

With the initiative, Docomo aims to allow for prompt, flexible and accurate verification of equipment, systems and technologies for applications such as drones and autonomous vehicles.

Docomo’s 5G Open Partner Program is designed to provide global businesses and organizations with the latest 5G information, test environments and opportunities for partner workshops. The partner program currently has more than 1,900 members.

Docomo already operates 5G open labs in Seoul, South Korea and Osaka, Japan.  The telco plans to open a third domestic lab in Okinawa, Japan next month.



A wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan telecommunications giant, NTT DOCOMO, DOCOMO PACIFIC was originally a merger of Guamcell Communications and HafaTel prior to acquisition in December 2006 by NTT DOCOMO. This acquisition allowed NTT DOCOMO the opportunity to share its world-leading technology with the region as evidenced by significant investments and upgrades in DOCOMO PACIFIC. In October 2008, DOCOMO PACIFIC was first on Guam to introduce the fastest and only 3.5G network. In November 2011, DOCOMO PACIFIC launched 4G HSPA+ service on Guam followed by the launch of advanced 4G LTE service in October 2012.

On 22 May 2013, DOCOMO PACIFIC officially merged with MCV Broadband and is now Guam and the CNMI’s leading provider of telecommunications and entertainment services. With combined offerings to include the latest mobile services, television, internet and telephone services in the region, DOCOMO PACIFIC continues to enhance the diversified range of services available to its customers.




3HK completes Hong Kong’s first outdoor 5G trial

3 Hong Kong has revealed it has completed of 5G outdoor network trials in the 3.5-GHz and 28-GHz spectrum bands.

The company said it believes it was the first mobile operator in Hong Kong to complete a live outdoor 5G trial broadcast. The test was conducted at a trial cell site in Causeway Bay.

3 Hong Kong received an indoor 5G test permit for the 3.5-GHz band in August 2017, and completed a number of initial trials by the end of that year. In May, the company secured a temporary permit to conduct 5G trials in the 26-GHz and 28-GHz millimeter wave bands.

Another temporary permit for outdoor and indoor trials in the 3.5-GHz band was granted in June, and the company achieved 2Gbps network speeds during an earlier trial using 100MHz of spectrum in this band.

3 Hong Kong said the test results indicate that 3.5-GHz band coverage – when used in conjunction with Massive MIMO, can be comparable to the coverage afforded over LTE using the 1800-MHz band.

The design of 5G networks will use a combination of mid-band spectrum such as 3.5-GHz for a wider coverage area, and millimeter wave spectrum for high speeds

“3 Hong Kong took the initiative to carry out end-to-end trials in various 5G bands in preparation for a new era of mobile communications,” commented Kenny Koo, CEO of 3 Hong Kong’s parent company Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings.

“We welcome the government’s decision to allow various of its premises to accommodate 5G base stations, and we hope the application and approval processes can be simplified and accelerated to help Hong Kong’s 5G development.”

First published in Computerworld Hong Kong



3 thoughts on “5G Trials in Singapore, Guam and Hong Kong

  1. The two solutions defined by 3GPP for 5G networks are:
    • 5G Non Standalone (NSA): The existing LTE radio access and core network (EPC) is used as an anchor
    for mobility management and coverage to add the 5G carrier. This solution enables operators to provide
    5G services with shorter time and lesser cost. All mobile 5G trials and deployments announced to date use NSA which is part of 3GP Release 15.

    • 5G Standalone (SA): An all new 5G Packet Core will be introduced with several new capabilities built
    inherently into it. The SA architecture comprises of 5G New Radio (5G NR) and 5G Core Network
    (5GC). Network Slicing, CUPS, Virtualization, Multi-Gbps support, Ultra low latency, and other such aspects
    will be natively built into the 5G SA Packet Core architecture.

    The stand-alone (SA) 3GPP Release 15 5G specifications were completed at the June 2018 3GPP meeting and frozen at their Sept 2018 meeting.

    3GPP has also approved the work program for Release 16 containing a host of new and enhanced functionalities for 5G NR. The target completion for Release 16 is December/2019. 3GPP submission to IMT 2020 (ITU-R WP5D) will contain both Release 15 and Release 16 functionality.







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