The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (“IMDA”) launched a public consultation today to seek views from the industry and public on the appropriate regulatory frameworks and policies for 5G. The feedback received will assist IMDA in facilitating 5G network rollout by 2020, as well as identify innovative 5G applications and services for Singapore.
Overall 5G vision for Singapore
5G offers not just faster mobile broadband but also greater reliability, lower latency and the ability to connect more devices. Consumers will be able to enjoy an enhanced and immersive user experience, including access to Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality content and live streaming of 4K/8K videos. Businesses will be able to leverage 5G capabilities to develop innovative applications and improve productivity and efficiency in a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, transport, media and healthcare.
IMDA’s vision is for Singapore to be a global 5G front-runner for innovation in secure and resilient 5G applications and services.
IMDA seeks to achieve the following policy objectives in the deployment of 5G networks in Singapore:
- Maximise benefits of 5G technology for enterprises and consumers;
- Facilitate efficient allocation of scarce resources such as spectrum;
- Ensure that 5G networks are designed to be trusted and resilient; and
- Support the growth of a vibrant telecommunication sector.
Key areas of consultation
IMDA is inviting views on key areas including:
- The approach to allocate spectrum to mobile network operators (“MNOs”) 1, in order to support the deployment of at least two nationwide 5G networks at the outset;
- The baseline regulatory requirements on MNOs which are allocated the spectrum; and
- Building the broader 5G ecosystem through innovative 5G use-cases, skills and manpower development and other areas of Government support to drive innovation and development.
5G spectrum allocation
IMDA plans to allocate the 3.5 GHz, and the 26 GHz and 28 GHz millimetre wave (“mmWave”) bands for 5G in the initial tranche of spectrum allocation to MNOs who are interested to deploy 5G technology. This will be sufficient for at least two nationwide 5G networks2.
IMDA intends to assign the 5G spectrum through a Call For Proposal (“CFP”) regulatory process. The CFP will require interested MNOs to submit detailed proposals on their nationwide 5G deployment plans. IMDA will assess these proposals based on several factors, including the ability to meet baseline regulatory requirements and the proposer’s financial capability to roll out the proposed 5G networks. Such baseline requirements will be in the areas of network rollout and performance, network design and resilience, and the provision of wholesale services to other mobile operators. IMDA expects to issue the CFP later in the year.
Building a thriving 5G ecosystem
Besides facilitating the deployment of 5G networks, IMDA will nurture a vibrant 5G ecosystem through industry partnerships.
IMDA will work with the industry to support innovative and impactful use-cases and develop 5G engineering manpower. IMDA will also continue to waive frequency fees for MNOs that are keen to conduct technical and/or commercial 5G trials.
“This public consultation is an important step in IMDA’s plans to launch 5G mobile networks and develop a vibrant 5G ecosystem in Singapore. I encourage interested parties to share your views with us. These insights will guide our regulatory approach and industry development efforts in ensuring Singapore’s connectivity infrastructure remains globally competitive in support of our Digital Economy ambitions,” said Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.
The public consultation will begin 7 May 2019, and will close on 19 June 2019. Full details of the public consultation are available here.