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The 5G race: Ericsson and Singtel launching Singapore's first pilot network

23 Jul 2018

Singtel and Ericsson have announced a new initiative that will accelerate the launch of Singapore’s first 5G pilot network.

The two companies have an existing 5G Centre of Excellence Programme partnership, and will now be launching a 5G pilot network by the fourth quarter of this year at one-north in Buona Vista the country’s science, business, and IT hub.

This confirmed move is obviously a substantial step towards making 5G a reality in Singapore.

“5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications,” says Singtel group chief technology officer Mark Chong.

“We are pleased to take another bold step in our journey to 5G with our 5G pilot network at one-north and invite enterprises to start shaping their digital future with us.”

The pilot network will deliver 5G coverage with enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) speed and low latency using Ericsson’s 3GPP standards-compliant 5G technology and the trial spectrum allocated by Singapore’s Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

“This is an encouraging step towards commercialisation with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place,” says IMDA Telecoms & Post deputy chief executive and director-general Aileen Chia.

“IMDA will continue to work closely with mobile service providers such as Singtel in their journey to build communication capabilities of the future and complement Singapore’s efforts towards a vibrant digital economy.”

Industries set to benefit from the implementation of 5G include transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing, enabling them to accelerate digital transformation and deploy automated technologies. The two companies assert enterprises can also work with Singtel and Ericsson at one-north to develop new 5G use cases and tap the business potential of 5G.

The 5G pilot network was announced at Singtel’s and Ericsson’s recent Bringing 5G to Life event where they also demonstrated innovative 5G use cases that included cutting-edge 3D augmented reality (AR) streaming over a 5G network operating in the 28GHz millimetre wave spectrum.

This effectively enabled participants to interact with lifelike virtual objects like human anatomy that was then streamed in real-time to a remote audience via 5G.

“5G represents a key mobile technology evolution, opening up new possibilities and applications,” says Ericsson Singapore, Bruneie, and the Philippines head Martin Wiktorin.

“We believe that 5G will play a key role in the digital transformation of the Singapore economy. Demonstrating the possibilities in this showcase event will be a catalyst for engagements with Singapore enterprises.”

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