SingTel has doubled the maximum speed of its 4G networks to 150 megabits per second (Mbps) as part of its S$150 million (US$121 million) nationwide rollout over the past year. Along with rival telcos StarHub and M1, it previously only offered speeds of up to 75Mbps.
The telco announced Tuesday it was the first in Singapore to offer dual-band street-level coverage nationwide. This dual-band capability doubles the data-handling capacity of the network, and helps relieve the strain during peak periods.
SingTel added it was also the first in the country to deploy advanced Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology in commercial buildings to double maximum user download speeds from 75Mbps. According to the telco, this has already been installed in busy locations such as shopping malls Nex, Jurong Point, Tampines Mall and Changi Airport.
Customers are unlikely to be able to leverage the faster networks until the introduction of the next generation of 4G LTE devices, which will support speeds of up to 150Mbps, are expected from the second half of the year. Still, it should be noted the maximum speeds are theoretical and SingTel had previously advised a typical download speed range of 3.4Mbps to 12Mbps for its previous 4G maximum speed of 75Mbps.
According to Yuen Kuan Moon, SingTel's CEO for Consumer Singapore, said in a statement: "More than 300,000 customers have signed up for our 4G service since its launch in June 2012. As more 4G-enabled devices become available in the market, we expect the pace of adoption to accelerate. We believe that the majority of our mobile customers will be 4G users by 2015."
As part of its accelerated network upgrade program, SingTel has also enhanced its 3G network to double its maximum speed to 42Mbps. This will be available to all current subscribers of its 3G Flexi plan who will be progressively migrated at no extra charge.
SingTel, along with StarHub and M1, were each fined S$10,000 (US$8,911.40) last December for failing to meet stricter quality of service standards of 99 percent for its 3G coverage. From the begining of this month, standards have become tighter with the minimum service coverage indoors required to be at least 85 percent.