U Mobile partners Singapore’s Starhub for maiden 5G trials


SINGAPORE’S StarHub Ltd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd will be conducting one of the world’s first 5G standalone (5G SA) roaming trials in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2020.

Both telecommunication companies (telcos) would initiate a series of testing to gather insights on network configurations and settings to ensure seamless 5G roaming experience for customers when 5G mobile Internet is rolled out commercially.

“Our customers are always on lifestyles that transcend borders. When 5G arrives, we want to continue delivering to customers the same best-in-Singapore connectivity wherever they may be. There is no better place to start 5G roaming trials than in Malaysia, our closest neighbour and one of our customers’ top travel destinations,” StarHub CTO Chong Siew Loong said in a statement yesterday.

The 5G SA roaming trials will be done completely independent of 4G network infrastructure, differing from most other roaming trials which use 5G non-SA technology.

Meanwhile, U Mobile CTO Woon Ooi Yuen said the firm believes it will be beneficial to be among the world’s firsts to conduct 5G SA roaming trials.

“U Mobile has been aggressively expanding our network and we are rapidly catching up to our older peers, even garnering the title of being the most improved mobile operator in Malaysia. In this growth

trajectory, we are also putting huge priority on 5G,” said Woon.

“U Mobile believes that these 5G SA trials will not only benefit the business and travel communities who regularly commute between the two countries; we also think it will be beneficial to the healthcare industry as 5G SA may enable remote surgery to be done across borders.”

The trials will include use cases such as “live” cross-border holographic calls and multi-party video calls which will be conducted in collaboration with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The telcos will also be looking into aspects such as the right commercial price point for 5G roaming in both countries.