M1 launches 10Gbps symmetrical service

M1 has announced expanding its fibre-to-the-building network, alongside the launch of a 10/10Gbps service.

Singaporean telecommunications provider M1 has announced the world's first 10Gbps passive optical network (PON) symmetrical fibre broadband service, offering the new speeds to corporate customers.

"The new symmetric PON service enables M1 to deliver highly reliable, low-latency symmetrical 10Gbps upload and download speeds with guaranteed bitrates islandwide," M1 said.

"Enterprises can then leverage on this connectivity for cloud computing, software-defined networking (SDN), 4K/8K video transfers, and other applications."

M1 had first introduced a 10Gbps GPON commercial fibre broadband service in February last year, with the new service now allowing for speeds of up to 10/10Gbps.

Also announced on Thursday by M1 was an expansion of its fibre-to-the-building (FttB) service and an upgrade of its unified operations monitoring centre (UOMC).

Its FttB expansion has seen fibre services added to buildings in Shenton Way, Orchard Road, and Buona Vista, M1 said, with the offering available to over 55 offices, commercial buildings, and malls in those areas.

According to M1, its UOMC will also allow customers to gain real-time information on their network services and IT infrastructure across both private and public clouds.

"Advanced technology built into the architecture will deliver predictive information, including early warning of impending equipment failure, and thus provide customers the ability to take proactive action to rectify possible faults before they occur," M1 said.

The company added that the UOMC can interoperate with other security operations centres on cybersecurity, with its emphasis on security following the launch of a network-based malware detection solution for smartphones with Nokia last month.

"With the successful launch of our symmetrical PON solution, next-generation unified operations monitoring centre, and fibre-to-the-building infrastructure, M1 can offer advance customised high-bandwidth connectivity to meet the growing requirements of internet of things, smart nation, cloud, and big data solutions from our customers," M1 chief corporate sales and solutions officer Willis Sim said on Thursday.

M1 last week announced its third-quarter financial results, reporting a net profit of SG$32.7 million, down 4.8 percent year on year.

Service revenue during the quarter increased by 4.9 percent to SG$206.7 million, driven by higher post-paid and fixed services revenues, which grew by 5.5 percent and 19.9 percent, respectively.

During the three-month period, M1's fibre customer base expanded by 6,000 to a total of 182,000 customers, with its corporate segment making up 10 percent of its total customer base but 47 percent of its fixed services revenue.

M1 also recently launched a narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network a year after unveiling plans to build the network in partnership with Nokia.

M1 CEO Karen Kooi said the launch would help "accelerate" Singapore's smart nation initiative.

"We look forward to working closely with government agencies, technology partners, and customers to enable smart solutions for everything and everyone," Kooi said at the launch in August.

M1 has also been working with Huawei on trialling 5G, in January attaining speeds of 35Gbps with the Chinese networking giant. The lab trial was conducted at M1's main operating centre in Jurong, and made use of mmWave spectrum in the 73GHz e-band.

The telco said it would be using its new mobile broadband spectrum to improve network coverage and capacity across the island nation in preparation for 5G.

M1 in April paid SG$208 million for its new spectrum: 2x 10MHz in the 700MHz spectrum band and 2x 5MHz in the 900MHz spectrum band.

"This will enable us to enhance our network coverage, deploy innovative technologies to augment our network capacity, and deliver superior customer experience cost effectively through optimal use of spectrum," M1 said at the time.

M1 also outlined its spectrum and network strategy as being to use spectrum to enhance its network cost efficiently; deploy its small cell/Wi-Fi heterogeneous network (HetNet) to improve capacity and speeds; refarm part of its 3G spectrum for 4G services; and "leapfrog to 5G".

It is planning to offer Wi-Fi, small cell, and HetNet services at MRT and LRT stations, bus interchanges, major shopping centres, hospitals, libraries, community centres, and public areas of government buildings to "lay [the] foundation for future dense grid 5G architecture".

M1 and Huawei also attained 1Gbps download/130Mbps upload speeds across 4G last year, using 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (4x4 MIMO); two-component carrier (2CC) uplink carrier aggregation; 3CC tri-band downlink carrier aggregation; and Higher Order Modulation 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).

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