IMDA announces initiatives to develop the 5G ecosystem

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To achieve the vision of Singapore as a global front-runner for innovation in secure and resilient 5G applications and services, the The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has put in place several initiatives to develop the 5G ecosystem:

  • Regulatory framework and policies to drive timely, cost-effective and robust 5G network rollout;
  • Talent development for 5G and future networks; and
  • Support for use-cases to anchor Singapore’s position in global innovation. 

Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran said, “As the next evolution in mobile communications, 5G will be the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy. With a trusted, secure and resilient 5G standalone infrastructure in place, we can invest in, and support the growth of, a thriving 5G innovation ecosystem that fuels innovation, creates more opportunities and maximizes benefits for businesses and consumers.”

“This will secure Singapore’s competitive edge, and enhance our appeal as a key trading and connectivity hub in the region and beyond,” he continued.

To encourage the development of an open and inclusive 5G innovation ecosystem, IMDA will be supporting two enterprise use cases and one consumer use case:

IMDA is supporting a strategic partnership between CapitaLand, TPG Telecom and Navinfo Datatech to deploy Singapore’s 5G Smart Estates use-case at CapitaLand’s Singapore Science Parks One and Two. This deployment leverages 5G and Cellular vehicle-to-everything (“C-V2X”) technologies to develop and deploy intelligent mobility solutions.

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board, A*Star and the National Research Foundation, M1 and the Nanyang Technological University (“NTU”) will also be launching the NTU Connected Smart Mobility Testbed to research and test new 5G vehicle communications solutions at the NTU campus.

IMDA, Razer and Singtel are also aiming to test 5G for cloud gaming in an urban environment.

IMDA launches Call for Proposal for 5G Spectrum Allocation

In addition, IMDA has also today launched a Call for Proposal (“CFP”) on 17 October 2019 to facilitate the roll out of 5G mobile networks by 2020, with full-fledged 5G standalone capability covering at least half of Singapore by end-2022.

As 5G will be a key connectivity infrastructure for Singapore, capable of supporting the transformation of many industry sectors, the CFP aims to award spectrum to operators that can maximize the potential of 5G to deliver the best value to the economy.

Under the CFP, two equal spectrum packages will be put up for bids among the four existing Mobile Network Operators (“MNOs”) – M1, Singtel, StarHub and TPG Telecom. IMDA will assess the MNOs’ proposals based on a comprehensive set of criteria, including network security design, network performance and spectrum offer price. The two selected MNOs will be required to deploy the 3.5GHz spectrum band on a standalone basis to unlock 5G’s full-fledged capabilities, such as network slicing, ultra-reliable low latency communications, and massive machine type communications.

In addition, IMDA will assign two 800MHz lots of mmWave spectrum to the remaining two MNOs. The MNOs will have the flexibility to deploy mmWave spectrum on a non-standalone basis, by leveraging their existing 4G infrastructure to deliver localized 5G services focusing mainly on higher broadband speeds.

The CFP will run from 17 October 2019 until 21 January 2020. Awarding of the spectrum is expected to take place by mid-2020.