Singapore’s IMDA makes plans for 5G as M1 and Huawei fire up 5G demo

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As Singapore’s comms regulator revs up for 5G, M1 and Huawei announced that they have successfully achieved what they claim is Singapore’s highest 5G data transmission speed of 35 Gbps.

The demonstration, at M1’s main operating center in Jurong, was conducted over the 73-GHz band at E-band. M1 chief technical officer Denis Seek said the trial validates the performance of 5G in high frequency bands and opens a new landscape for the standardization of 5G high-frequency technologies in Singapore.

A year ago, M1 and Huawei also worked together to achieve a combined download and upload speed of more than 1 Gbps in M1’s LTE-Advanced test lab. That trial used existing commercial hardware infrastructure supplied by Huawei and a prototype CAT14 device, and integrated four advanced network technologies: 3CC (three component carrier) aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, 2CC uplink carrier aggregation and 256 QAM, a pre-5G modulation scheme that increases the number of unique radio waveform shapes to boost throughput speeds and elevate spectral efficiency.

The M1/Huawei announcement came on the heels of a separate announcement from Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (‎IMDA) that it will initiate a public consultation later this year on 5G development and spectrum requirements.

Speaking at the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum hosted by Singtel on Tuesday, IMDA’s Director-General (Telecoms & Post) Aileen Chia said its 5G push will include real-world trials to assess deployment scenarios and how 5G networks will function in Singapore’s business environment, reports ChannelNewsAsia:

Ms Chia said the authority strongly encourages the industry’s participation in the consultation to help it better understand the industry’s needs and how to respond to them, as well as the spectrum plans that will enable innovation to flourish. “This will then better help shape our spectrum roadmap and the regulatory framework going forward,” she explained.

Singapore’s cellcos are already engaged in an arms race to boost data speeds on their existing networks as they set their sights on 5G.

In November last year, StarHub and Nokia said they had achieved throughput speed of 4.3 Gbps and latency of just 1 millisecond using 5G technology in centimeter-wave spectrum (between 3 and 30 GHz).

Last week, Singtel and Ericsson demonstrated download speeds of up to 1 Gbps in a live network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris, which was achieved via a 256 QAM downlink, 4×4 MIMO and 3CC aggregation.

Also last week, Singtel launched its 450-Mbps LTE-A service using 256 QAM (although only three handsets currently support the service, one of which requires a software upgrade).

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