Nokia and StarHub say they’re conducting Southeast Asia’s first live 5G non-standalone (NSA) network trial across Singapore, leading up to StarHub’s commercial 5G launch next year.
By using its existing 4G infrastructure, the trial 5G network will allow StarHub to provide higher data bandwidth and reliable connectivity to its subscribers without a major infrastructure overhaul, according to the companies.
StarHub earlier this year confirmed Nokia as its preferred 5G technology partner, supplying its 5G radio access network (RAN). Nokia is supplying millimeter wave and 5G standalone (SA) core solutions as part of their agreement.
This week, the operator announced early trial access to StarHub 5G free of charge for customers ahead of the full commercial launch. Its 5G signals currently cover 53% of Singapore’s populated areas and will expand to 70% coverage by September 2020, according to StarHub.
Nokia said the 5G NSA network will enable StarHub customers to enjoy early benefits of 5G, with enhanced coverage and performance to improve user experience at major residential and commercial hubs of Singapore.
StarHub CTO Chong Siew Loong in a statement said the company continues to develop and advance its network toward SA 5G along with trusted partners. “To help us evolve quickly and easily towards 5G NSA, we chose Nokia’s Single RAN portfolio as it brings new capabilities, improved network efficiency and end user experience,” he said.
StarHub’s spectrum re-farming was implemented in 900 MHz and 2100 MHz for the LTE anchor layer and 5G operation, respectively, according to Nokia.
By mid-2021, plans call for StarHub to offer 5G at 3.5 GHz on a standalone architecture, supporting advanced manufacturing, fully autonomous drones, robots and vehicles, remote health treatments, immersive AR/VR entertainment, cloud gaming and other services.