Singapore takes step toward offering 5G in 2020


SINGAPORE • Singapore’s mobile phone carriers are being asked to take a step toward introducing 5G wireless services as early as next year, as the government plans to allocate spectrum for at least two networks.

The city-state’s telecom regulator will request proposals from the companies — which include Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and StarHub Ltd — later this year, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a statement yesterday.

The authority also asked for comments from the industry and public from yesterday till June 19 on plans for regulation of the new network.

Singapore has been slower in moving toward introducing 5G compared to countries like South Korea and the US, which have begun offering limited commercial services this year.

“Singapore is joining the 5G race later than many other countries, so the paper should put it on track to launch the services by 2020,” Joel Ng, an analyst at KGI Securities (Singapore) Pte Ltd, said by phone.

IMDA said it will assess proposals from carriers on factors including time to introduction, performance and design, as well as financial capability.

The enhanced airwaves will help in providing data services at peak rates of as much as 100 times faster than the current generation, with the ability to support up to 1,000 times more devices, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran said during a parliamentary session in March. — Bloomberg