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Singapore picks Singtel and JVCo to roll out 5G networks

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore is not delaying its plans to roll out 5G. The country’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has announced that Singtel Mobile Singapore Pte Ltd (Singtel) and the Joint-Venture Consortium (JVCo), formed by StarHub and M1, as the winners of the 5G Call for Proposal (CFP).

The two winners will be required to provide 5G coverage for at least half of Singapore by end-2022, scaling up to nationwide coverage by end-2025.

Both the winners will be allocated with radio frequency spectrum to deploy nationwide 5G Standalone (SA) networks, while other mobile operators can access these network services through a wholesale arrangement, according to an official release by IMDA last week.

Furthermore, IMDA will allocate mmWave spectrum to mobile network operators to deploy localised high-capacity 5G hotspots – this will allow the operators to offer retail 5G services to end-users.

Tan Kiat How, chief executive, IMDA, said: “We received three compelling proposals that met, and in some cases, exceeded our requirements. The winners were selected based on a comprehensive assessment of how their proposals would deliver the best outcomes for businesses and consumers in Singapore.”

Although TPG Telecom has partnered with ST Engineering and SP Group to develop 5G use cases for supply chain, they lost out on the bidding. During a virtual media Q&A session, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran explained that the final process of awarding the licence was dependant on the telcos’ compliance of what they had put into their CFP proposals as well as whether they satisfied the regulatory requirements in terms of resilience and security. 

Minister Iswaran said: “Singapore is forging ahead with our vision to have a world-class, secure and resilient 5G infrastructure that will be the backbone of our digital economy. By 2025, Singapore will have two nationwide networks with full-fledged 5G capabilities that will spur innovation and create exciting opportunities. 

“Amid today’s COVID-19 challenges, the investments in Singapore’s 5G infrastructure underscore long-term business confidence in our economy, and will ready us for the eventual recovery to build a thriving digital future for our people, businesses and industries.”

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