Singaporean operator Singtel has deployed a 5G standalone (SA) trial network at its 5G Garage testing facility, the telco said in a release.
The network, which uses spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band and Ericsson’s Massive MIMO technology, aims to provide local enterprises with early access to 5G to develop and trial 5G solutions.
“COVID-19 has brought a new urgency to digital transformation for many sectors,” said Bill Chang, CEO of Group Enterprise at Singtel. “Having unveiled our first 5G use case with our 24/7 unmanned pop-up retail store in September, our 5G SA trial network offers enterprises from across industries the opportunity to develop and test applications to accelerate automation and digitalization.
“With 5G’s low latency and scalability, enterprises can not only drive efficiencies and make better and more cost-effective decisions but also deliver richer customer experiences. The launch of this 5G SA trial network is also an important step as we get ready for commercial 5G SA. We welcome enterprises to harness the power of 5G to future-proof their businesses and catalyze their digital transformation at 5G Garage,” the executive added.
Singtel said that global cloud gaming provider Ubitus is the first enterprise to use Singtel’s 5G SA network for a 5G cloud gaming trial. The trial demonstrated a 5G cloud gaming experience that delivered 85% lower latency of between 8 to 11 milliseconds compared to cloud gaming on 4G. It was conducted on Singtel’s multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform which integrates 5G’s bandwidth capabilities with cloud computing performance.
“The trials will inform our designs for exciting games which will test gamers’ reflexes and instincts. We will leverage the ultra-low latency of 5G and MEC to offer immersive, hyper-realistic gaming experience,” said Wesley Kuo, Ubitus’ CEO.
Singtel noted that 5G and MEC have the ability to integrate with technologies such as Internet of Things, analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented, virtual or mixed reality, enabling enterprises across industries to leverage the low latency in applications requiring little or no lag times. These include remote surgery, smart manufacturing, autonomous driving, remote robotic repair and maintenance and virtual reality-enabled live concerts.
Since the launch of 5G Garage with Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic in January 2019, Singtel said it had developed ten 5G use cases together with more than 20 start-ups and enterprises in areas such as robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drones.
Last month, Singtel announced the launch of its 5G non-standalone (NSA) network and introduced a three-month trial for its consumer and enterprise customers.
Singtel’s 5G NSA network uses spectrum in the 3.5 GHz frequency as well as existing 2.1 GHz spectrum, while employing advanced technologies such as dual connectivity.
Singtel was officially awarded a 5G license issued by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in June 2020.
Rival operator StarHub recently launched a 5G trial service in Singapore using the Non-standalone (NSA) 5G architecture.
StarHub 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.
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