Singtel claims 95% standalone 5G coverage, eyes enterprise uptake

Singapore telco says it has hit more than 95% standalone 5G network coverage, three years ahead of the government's 2025 target, and is looking to drive adoption amongst businesses with uses cases spanning the public, transport, and tourism sectors.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singtel says its standalone 5G coverage in Singapore has exceeded 95%, three years ahead of the government's 2025 target. The local telco is looking to drive adoption amongst businesses with use cases spanning the public, transport, and tourism sectors. 

Its nationwide standalone 5G network currently covers more than 1,300 outdoor locations and 400 in-building sites, including underground, according to Singtel. The mobile carrier was awarded the 3.5GHz and millimetre wave spectrum in June 2020, when Singapore's industry regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) handed out two nationwide 5G licences. An additional 2.1GHz spectrum was issued in November 2021. 

Singtel's 5G infrastructure runs on Ericsson equipment, while joint 5G licensees StarHub and M1 have built their networks on Nokia. All three telcos previously launched their respective consumer services, running these on 5G non-standalone architectures. Licensees are expected to obtain at least 95% standalone network coverage by end-2025.

In its statement Friday, Singtel said it was looking to drive 5G adoption amongst businesses with use cases that included the public sector. The telco launched a 5G testbed in the southern island of Sentosa last year alongside several government agencies.

The Singapore government last October unveiled plans for 5G pilots across various industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and construction, with 15 live trials running on Sentosa. It said it was targeting to ramp up this figure to at least 30 by the first half of 2023. 

Singtel also inked various partnerships with industry players, including Micron and Hyundai to roll out 5G services that aimed to enhance operational efficiencies and decision making. These initiatives would run on Singtel's Paragon orchestration platform, which the carrier said pulled together essential resources across 5G and edge computing into "one touchpoint" to ease deployment and integration for businesses. 

In April last year, it introduced a "portable 5G platform" to offer 5G network resources anywhere, with an available power source, on which enterprise customers could deploy and test their apps. Tucked inside a suitcase-sized container, it would enable organisations to experience 5G capabilities and test use cases on-site, in their own premises, Singtel said.

"Now that our nationwide 5G coverage is in place, we expect commercial adoption to accelerate," said its group enterprise and regional data centre CEO, Bill Chang. He added that its 5G infrastructure supported functions such as real-time computing, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, which would facilitate mission-critical enterprise applications that included automated inspection in factories, smart city planning, and connected autonomous vehicles. 


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