Singtel and Ericsson to launch 5G pilot network by Q4 2018

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Singtel and Ericsson have announced plans to launch what they reckon will be Singapore’s first 5G pilot network at ‘one-north’, the country’s science, business and IT hub, by the fourth quarter of this year.

Ericsson will supply the gear for the 5G pilot network, which will do the usual 5G things – enhanced mobile broadband 10x faster than 4G, low latency communications, transmission of terabytes of data in minutes, 4K video downloads in seconds, etc and so on.

Using trial spectrum allocated by the IMDA, Singtel and Ericsson are planning drone and autonomous vehicle trials on their 5G pilot network later this year at ‘one-north’, as well as other designated areas. Enterprises can use the network to develop and test new 5G use cases, said Mark Chong, group chief technology officer at Singtel.

“5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications,” Chong said.

Aileen Chia, deputy chief executive and director-general (Telecoms & Post) at IMDA, said the announcement was “an encouraging step towards commercialization with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place”.

Singtel announced the launch of its 5G pilot network at its “Bringing 5G to Life” event held at Singtel Comcentre on Monday, where Singtel and Ericsson demonstrated 3D augmented reality (AR) streaming over a 5G network operating in the 28-GHz mmWave band.

The demonstration enabled participants to view and interact with lifelike virtual objects such as a photorealistic human anatomy and a 360-degree image of the world. The experience was then streamed in real-time to a remote audience via 5G, illustrating the possibilities of using 3D AR technology for large scale remote learning in various industries such as medical and education.

“5G represents a key mobile technology evolution, opening up new possibilities and applications,” said Martin Wiktorin, country manager for Ericsson Singapore, Brunei & the Philippines. “Demonstrating the possibilities in this showcase event will be a catalyst for engagements with Singapore enterprises.”

The event also showcased emerging technologies from partners Garuda Robotics, Intel, Meta, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony. The companies demonstrated how enterprises and consumers can use technologies such as AR, mixed reality, connected drones, real time HD 3D mapping as well as cloud-based gaming and robotics.

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