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Singapore’s StarHub and M1 team up in 5G licence bid

The two telcos are working towards the 17 February 2020 closing date for 5G proposals

Singapore telcos StarHub and M1 have joined hands to submit a joint bid for a 5G licence, months after the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) kicked off the first steps in the country’s 5G roll-out.

In a widely anticipated move, both firms said they are working towards the 17 February 2020 closing date for 5G proposals.

In October 2019, the IMDA said it was seeking proposals from network operators to build the country’s 5G infrastructure in an exercise that will culminate in the roll-out of two nationwide standalone networks.

These networks, which can make use of the 3.5GHz spectrum, should cover at least half of Singapore by the end of 2022, “in view of deployment challenges and uncertainties in early 5G use cases”, the IMDA said.

Operators, with IMDA’s approval, can still build non-standalone networks in the 3.5GHz band, in addition to standalone networks.

They can also use the 26GHz and 28GHz millimetre wave bands to provide fixed wireless access services to support localised deployments such as smart city applications, opening up the market for potentially two more telcos to run localised 5G networks.

Globally, Ericsson expects 5G coverage to reach at least 45% of the world’s population by the end of 2024, thanks to the use of spectrum sharing technology that lets telcos deploy 5G and 4G services using the same spectrum.

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