Huawei loses main Singapore 5G networks to Ericsson, Nokia

SINGAPORE • Singapore’s biggest telecom operators (telcos) chose Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj as their main 5G network providers, leaving China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd with less significant contracts in the city-state.

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) chose Ericsson, while a group that includes StarHub Ltd opted for Nokia after the city-state gave final approval for the rollout of nationwide 5G coverage in the country on Wednesday. Huawei, which has been a point of contention in the

tensions between the US and China, still has a foothold in the market as a provider for TPG Telecom Pte Ltd’s smaller, local network system.

The final awards were issued to Singtel and a group formed by StarHub and M1 Ltd after they completed regulatory processes, including selection of preferred frequency spectrum lots and vendor partners, the Infocomm Media Development Authority said on Wednesday. Provisional awards were made in April.

TPG Telecom is being allocated the remaining frequency spectrum in the millimetre wave band to roll out localised 5G networks, the authority said.

“We never explicitly excluded any vendor,” Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin yesterday. “You have a diversity of vendors involved in different aspects of the 5G system and that is in fact a positive outcome from our perspective,” he said.

Iswaran said yesterday the city-state has very clear security and resilience requirements, and the choices made by the telcos took this into account “very clearly”.

Singtel, the country’s largest telco operator, said on Wednesday it selected Ericsson “to commence a period of negotiation to provide the 5G SA Core, RAN and mmWave network, with a view to finalising the contractual terms as soon as practicable”.

StarHub, which received spectrum rights jointly with M1, said the preferred 5G technology partner,

subject to final contract, is Nokia for the 5G radio access network. Nokia is also the preferred technology supplier for StarHub’s 5G core and mmWave networks. The Singapore company is exploring other network elements with Nokia, Huawei and ZTE Corp, it said.

TPG Telecom said it’s an active member of the Telecom Infra Project and “will leverage the extensive OpenRAN vendor community along with Huawei’s advanced network equipment” for the implementation of 5G services. — Bloomberg