Singtel, Ericsson to launch “5G” pilot network in Singapore this year

Singtel and Ericsson will launch what is touted as Singapore’s first “5G” pilot network later this year.  The 5G pilot network, scheduled to go live by the fourth quarter this year, will be deployed at one-north in Buona Vista, the city-state’s science, business and IT hub.  Later this year, the network will support trials of drones and autonomous vehicle wireless communications – applications where  very low latency is required.

Singtel and Ericsson will also work with enterprises at one-north to develop new 5G use cases and tap into the business potential of 5G.

NOTE:  The press release incorrectly states: “Ericsson’s 3GPP standards compliant 5G technology….”  As we have noted in many, many posts, 3GPP specifications are not standards and the 3GPP “5G” submission to ITU-R WP 5D for IMT 2020 won’t be completed till July 2019.
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“5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications,” Singtel CTO Mark Chong said.  “We are pleased to take another bold step in our journey to 5G with our 5G pilot network at one-north and invite enterprises to start shaping their digital future with us,”  Chong added.

He told The Straights Times (see photo below):

“The location is in line with the government’s initiative to designate one-north as a test bed for autonomous vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems. For a start, we plan to conduct a drone trial on the pilot network to showcase network slicing capability.”

Aileen Chia, deputy chief executive and director-general (Telecoms & Post) at  Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), described the 5G pilot network as “an encouraging step towards commercialization, with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place…IMDA will continue to work closely with mobile service providers such as Singtel in their journey to build communication capabilities of the future and complement Singapore’s efforts towards a vibrant digital economy.”

Last year, IMDA announced plans to let Singapore telcos test 5G services for free over two years and waived frequency fees for 5G trials until December 2019, as part of efforts to fuel 5G development in Singapore.

At the launch event on Monday, July 23rd,  Singtel and Ericsson demonstrated a range of potential 5G use cases, including cutting-edge 3D augmented reality (AR) streaming over a 5G network operating in the 28-GHz millimeter wave spectrum. Participants were able to view and interact with lifelike virtual objects such as a photorealistic human anatomy and a 360-degree image of the world. The immersive experience was then streamed in real-time to a remote audience via 5G.

“5G represents a key mobile technology evolution, opening up new possibilities and applications,” said Mr Martin Wiktorin, Country Manager for Ericsson Singapore, Brunei & the Philippines. “We believe that 5G will play a key role in the digital transformation of the Singapore economy. Demonstrating the possibilities in this showcase event will be a catalyst for engagements with Singapore enterprises.”

Image courtesy of Singapore Straights Times.

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The 5G pilot network is the result of a joint 5G initiative Singtel and Ericsson formed last year. In October 2017, the two companies set up a joint Certificate of Entitlement (CoE) to develop 5G technology, with an initial investment of $2 million to be deployed over three years.

Besides Singtel, Singapore’s other mobile carriers have also begun conducting their own 5G trials. M1 said last month it has partnered with Huawei to run tests in the 28-GHz mmWave spectrum, with plans to conduct the first 3.5-GHz non-standalone standards compliant field trial in Southeast Asia by the end of the year, and a 28-GHz and 3.5-GHz standalone field trial by mid-2019.  StarHub  is also working with Huawei on its 5G network trials.’

Reference:

https://www.singtel.com/about-Us/news-releases/journey-to-5g-singtel-and-ericson-to-launch-singapores-first-5g-pilot-network

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