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Ericsson, Nokia to power Singapore’s 5G networks

European telecoms network suppliers Ericsson and Nokia have been selected by Singapore telcos to deploy the country’s two standalone 5G networks

Europe’s Ericsson and Nokia have been chosen by Singapore’s mobile network operators to supply the network equipment and software to power the country’s two standalone 5G networks.

Singtel, the city-state’s biggest telco, said after a rigorous tender exercise it has selected Ericsson to “commence a period of negotiation” to provide the 5G network core, the radio access network as well as its millimetre wave (mmWave) network. It will finalise the contractual terms as soon as possible.

M1, which joined hands with StarHub to form a consortium to deploy the country’s other standalone 5G network, has chosen Nokia to supply its 5G network core. M1 said it was looking to work with other suppliers, including Ericsson and Huawei, to deploy localised networks in the mmWave spectrum.

The announcement of the winning suppliers was made on the same day as Singtel and the M1-StarHub consortium were awarded 5G network licences following the required regulatory processes. Singapore’s newest and fourth mobile network operator, TPG Telecom, has also applied for and is being allocated the remaining frequency spectrum in the mmWave band to roll out localised 5G networks.

S Iswaran, Singapore’s minister for communications and information, said the 5G licence awards would set the stage for the development of a resilient and secure 5G infrastructure, which will form the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy.

“We remain on track for nationwide 5G standalone deployment by 2025. We will build upon this infrastructure to create a vibrant 5G ecosystem, offering exciting opportunities and benefits for individuals, workers and businesses in Singapore’s digital future,” he added.

Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong said its 5G licence was timely in light of Covid-19 and the ensuing reliance on robust infrastructure and connectivity.

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“Our existing network capabilities have allowed us to pivot quickly to the needs of the public and businesses at this critical time and 5G will help extend and accelerate the digital adoption we’ve witnessed as we navigate our way out of Covid-19 towards recovery,” she said.

M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann said its 5G roll-out would enable the delivery of innovative products and services to consumers, enterprise and government, which would boost the economy and lead to creation of job opportunities. “Future investments will be focused to keep M1 at the forefront in Singapore’s 5G ecosystem,” he said.

According to a recent Ericsson study, 5G will account for 21% of mobile subscriptions in Southeast Asia and Oceania by 2025. The projected value of the 5G-enabled digitisation revenues for service providers in Southeast Asia alone will reach approximately $41bn by 2030.

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