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Singtel begins 800Mbps LTE-A rollout on Orchard Road

Singaporean incumbent begins 800Mbps LTE-A in high-traffic outdoor locations across the island.

Singtel has announced it will open its 800Mbps LTE-A rollout on Orchard Road, before extending the upgrades to Raffles Place and Clarke Quay before the end of August.

The telco said it was able to hit 800Mbps through the use of triple aggregation, 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output, and 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation on Ericsson kit.

"We are pleased to again partner with Singtel on this important step in the journey towards 5G," said Martin Wiktorin, president of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei, and Philippines. "In delivering Singtel's Gigabit-class LTE network, we are enabling an enhanced consumer experience as well as supporting Singapore's Smart Nation vision, which will see the increase in bandwidth intensive applications."

Singtel said users of the Sony XZ Premium would enjoy the new speeds straight away, with more Cat 16 smartphones to come throughout the year.

At Clarke Quay, fellow Singaporean telco StarHub has already been running 4G trials capable of 800Mbps.

In January, StarHub revealed that it attained speeds of 35.15Gbps during a trial of 5G network technology with Chinese technology giant Huawei.

"Download speed is just one measure of network quality; upload performance is as important, as mobile customers increasingly share high-definition videos and photos instantly with the world," StarHub head of Network Engineering Chong Siew Loong told ZDNet at the time.

"StarHub is the first telco to triple 4G upload bandwidth to 150Mbps. Available in Marina Bay and Orchard, this network upgrade will reach the rest of Singapore within the first half of this year ... StarHub's nationwide 4G LTE-Advanced network offers mobile customers peak download speeds of 300Mbps."

Also this week, Singtel's mobile payments solution Dash sent its virtual Visa account offering live, allowing customers in Singapore to pay with their smartphone.

The prepaid Visa account is capped at S$999 and the app and its payment capabilities still work when it is running in the background.

Singtel also announced future plans for Dash to be included in global wallets such as Apple Pay, and enable QR code payments to expand into hawker centres.