Singaporean operator M1 launched its 5G non-standalone (NSA) network in parts of Singapore, the telco said in a release.
M1 claimed to be the first operator in Singapore to offer 5G access to all its customers, without any limitation on the number of sign-ups or restrictions on any plans.
M1’s 5G NSA network is already operational in CBD, Orchard Road, Suntec City and Marina Bay. Over the next few months, service will also be extended to additional parts of the city, covering key town centers across Singapore by the end of 2020.
M1 said all customers with compatible devices can access the 5G service, with monthly data plans beginning at SGD15 ($10.91) for a package including 25 GB of data.
“It is no secret that 5G will play a pivotal role in boosting Singapore’s digital economy,” said Manjot Singh Mann, CEO at M1. “We have already seen glimpses of its potential through various enterprise and consumer 5G use cases and trials that we have embarked on so far. Now, we’re thrilled to bring our customers the very best of this game-changing technology.”
M1 also confirmed that it will start to deploy its Standalone (SA) network early next year. The telco said that it will continue to support its NSA network, ensuring that early adopters already on the NSA network can enjoy a seamless transition to SA in the future.
Earlier this month, rival operator Singtel had launched its 5G non-standalone (NSA) network and introduced a three-month trial for its consumer and enterprise customers.
Singtel’s 5G NSA network is currently using spectrum in the 3.5 GHz frequency as well as existing 2.1 GHz spectrum, while employing advanced technologies such as dual connectivity.
Initially, Singtel’s 5G service covers areas such as Harbourfront, Bugis and Dhoby Ghaut.
Singtel was officially awarded a 5G license issued by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in June 2020.
Meanwhile, StarHub has also launched a 5G trial service in Singapore using NSA 5G.
The operator also announced plans to launch its commercial standalone (SA) network by mid-2021 in partnership with Nokia. The 5G SA network will run on 3.5 GHz spectrum. StarHub said the 5G trial service, which will run until February 16, uses the 2.1 GHz spectrum band.
StarHub Mobile and M1 were also awarded licenses to jointly build nationwide standalone (SA) 5G network in Singapore. The winners were each allocated 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.
Telecommunications services regulator IMDA noted that other mobile operators will be able to access these network services through a wholesale arrangement. Additionally, IMDA will allocate millimeter-wave spectrum to mobile network operators to deploy localized, high-capacity 5G hotspots. With this, M1, StarHub, Singtel, TPG Telecom and mobile virtual network operators would be able to offer retail 5G services to end users in Singapore.
Under the terms of the 5G licenses, the two winners will be required to provide coverage for at least half of Singapore by the end of 2022, scaling up to nationwide coverage by the end of 2025.
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