StarHub to launch 5G SA network in Singapore later this year: CTO

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Singapore carrier StarHub started to deploy a 5G Standalone network in the last quarter of 2020 and it will be commercially available later this year, Chong Siew Loong, CTO at StarHub, told RCR Wireless News.

“With 5G SA technology, StarHub can simultaneously connect a vast number of devices and offer game-changing mobility solutions that thrive on ultra-high speed, low-latency, secure campus networking capabilities for the benefit of consumers, businesses and government agencies in Singapore. For example, customers can enjoy new digital services such as AR for entertainment, education and healthcare, and the industry will have the opportunity to deliver the promised massive Internet of Things, allowing interconnection of many devices and applications for a smarter society,” the executive said.

“In turn, businesses can use 5G enhanced mobile broadband service to enable e-sports and augmented reality/virtual reality live feeds anywhere. StarHub can create several secure mobile campus networks for localised functions through network slicing capability, and leverage mobile edge computing services to host AI-based solutions such as facial recognition services and to deploy advanced IoT solutions,” he added.

The executive noted that StarHub was the first operator to launch non-standalone 5G services in August 2020, with a population coverage of 70%. “We are seeing strong demand for 5G phones and good take-up of our new Mobile+ 5G capable plans – encouraging signs of the market’s appetite for 5G services, which are going mainstream in terms of deployment and adoption this year. We are exploring the potential for higher-value 5G services such as cloud gaming, augmented reality, and precise navigation, to maximize market reach.”

Earlier this week, StarHub and Nokia announced they have teamed up to deploy a new cloud-native 5G core network to manage 5G standalone (SA) bandwidth demand in the Asian country.

In a release, Nokia said that the 5G SA network rollout is well underway and spans core, radio, software, security and professional services.

This 5G SA network, which will run on 3.5 GHz spectrum, will enable StarHub to run 5G technology independent of existing 4G network technology.

StarHub partnered with Nokia to deploy a 5G SA trial network at Singapore media regulator  IMDA’s 5G testing facility Living [email protected], which is dedicated to helping industry players develop new 5G solutions and develop technical capabilities. StarHub is also working with industry players, including Nanyang Polytechnic and National University of Singapore to explore innovative 5G solutions that can enhance higher education experiences, address industry needs and test use cases. StarHub and Malaysia’s U Mobile have successfully completed a multi-party roaming video conference call over 5G SA technology. More extensive 5G solution trials, including emergency sea rescue operations are in progress.

In April of 2020, Singtel and a joint venture between StarHub Mobile and M1 had secured licenses to build two nationwide standalone (SA) 5G networks in Singapore.

The winners were each allocated 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band.

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