M1 and StarHub open standalone 5G trial

To take advantage of the trial, users will need a Samsung S21 5G device.

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Image: M1

Singaporean telcos M1 and StarHub announced on Thursday the pair have opened up trials of 5G standalone service. 

In order to take advantage of the service, users will need a Samsung S21 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G, or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G device, as well as a 5G SIM. StarHub said it would be reaching out to its Mobile+ and Biz+ customers to get them onto its 5G network.

M1 said the standalone network would be 10 times faster than LTE, four times quicker than non-standalone 5G, and 50% more responsive than LTE and non-standalone 5G. It added that those in the trial would be able to use "world's first Voice over 5G New Radio (VoNR) service". The company is labelling the network as True 5G.

In addition to the trial, StarHub said it was offering 5G roaming on 19 international networks in 13 places.

Both telcos teamed up to submit a joint bid when the city state's 5G licences were up for grabs in 2020.

Earlier this month, StarHub offered SG$120 of value for any customer that would part with a pirate set-top box and sign up for a StarHub TV+ Box. The SG$120 translates to free rental for 24 months.

"There is no better time than now to cast away outmoded illegal boxes, support original, and give StarHub TV+ a go," StarHub consumer business group chief Johan Buse said.

At the start of the year, M1 said it would use Nokia for its standalone 5G network.

On Thursday in Australia, TPG Telecom said it deployed Nokia's interleaved passive active antenna at a site in Brisbane.

"This latest generation not only provides operators the ability to add 5G to an existing site without increasing the number or the size of the existing antennas on the site, but also doubles the range and greatly increases the capacity of all technologies deployed on existing mid band (e.g. 1800, 2100, and 2600MHz) frequencies by up to 80%," the companies said.

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