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The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) issued the Final Awards to Singtel Mobile Singapore Pte Ltd (Singtel) and the Joint-Venture Consortium (JVCo1) formed by StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd (StarHub) and M1 Limited (M1), at the close of a rigorous and holistic 5G Call for Proposal (CFP) 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 lots2 , vendor partners and other technical and legal matters. Both Singtel and JVCo have also satisfied other CFP 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 fullfledged 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.”

Mr Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive, IMDA, said, “Our operators’ firm interest in deploying 5G is a robust signal of their confidence in the technology. Like all of you, I look forward to the innovative applications that will ride on our 5G networks, to bring enhanced consumer experiences, as well as seed new business models. It is heartening to see our efforts to catalyse a 5G innovation ecosystem taking shape, and we will continue to support this important effort to strengthen our national competitiveness, transform our businesses, create good jobs, and improve our people’s lives.”

Vibrant ecosystem that will spur innovation and build up capabilities

Our secure and resilient 5G networks will be the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy. Building upon this foundation, IMDA will continue to forge strong partnerships with the industry to build sustainable 5G business use cases, and develop strong manpower capabilities to utilise 5G technologies, thus paving the way for a vibrant 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. For details on use cases, please see Factsheet on Catalysing Singapore’s 5G Innovation Ecosystem.

As part of the efforts to nurture 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. Details on the training programmes will be released by Q4 2020.

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