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StarHub starts 5G commercial trial for consumers and businesses

StarHub customers will be among the first in Singapore to access 5G services which are being delivered through a non-standalone network

Starhub has kicked off its 5G commercial trial for consumers and businesses, with mobile coverage spanning roughly half the city-state at launch.

From 18 August 2020, the trial services will be available at the central business district as well as major residential hubs such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Clementi, Jurong, Tampines, Woodlands and Yishun, among others.

StarHub customers can access the services using the Huawei P40 Pro or Huawei P40 Pro+ 5G devices through the new Mobile+ or Biz+ mobile plans. Those with Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Samsung Note20 5G and Samsung Note20 Ultra 5G devices can expect to receive 5G software updates from Samsung in phases starting end August.

The early trial will run till 16 February 2021, with access being provided through the 2,100MHz spectrum on a non-standalone network based on Nokia’s 5G technology.

“Just as how steam, electricity and electronics have enriched our lives, the technology revolution of our era – 5G – will usher in unprecedented speed, simplicity and instantaneity, changing the way we work, play, browse, game, watch and create,” said Johan Buse, StarHub’s chief of consumer business group.

“Given the broad and infinite possibilities of 5G, we are eager for our customers to catch an early glimpse into the ultra-fast speed and ultra-low-latency upgrades that will empower hundreds of thousands of consumers, enterprises, government clients and Singapore.”

In a statement, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said it will support plans by telcos to ride on existing 4G networks to deploy 5G non-standalone networks, as part of trials to enable consumers to enjoy partial 5G experiences in the short-term.

It noted that Singapore remains on track to deploy two nationwide 5G standalone networks by 2025, with 5G standalone capabilities covering at least half of Singapore by end-2022. It will also work with telcos to develop a regulatory framework that ensures a smooth transition from non-standalone to standalone networks.

Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive of IMDA, said: “We have made good progress on our journey to roll out the future-ready full-fledged 5G standalone networks critical to maintaining Singapore’s competitive edge.

“We welcome and are supportive of our operators’ interest to make incremental investment in the meantime and leverage 5G non-standalone technology to offer their customers some early 5G benefits such as faster mobile broadband experience while they build their standalone network.

By mid-2021, StarHub is expected to launch full commercial services on a standalone network that will support enterprise 5G applications such as autonomous drones, telemedicine and enhanced remote working.

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