SINGAPORE: The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) plans to have a public consultation later this year on developments relating to fifth generation mobile networks (5G) and the spectrum required to run them, it announced on Tuesday (Jan 17).
According to IMDA's assistant chief executive, Aileen Chia, the move is part of efforts to facilitate the introduction and commercialisation of 5G services and technology in Singapore.
This includes the promotion of real-world trials to help the industry better understand how 5G will work in Singapore’s business environment as well as their optimal deployment scenarios, she said.
Such preparatory work comes ahead of the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) in 2019, where final decisions on standards and spectrum will be made.
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.
The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance - an association of more than 80 industry players worldwide of which local telco Singtel is a member - aims for 5G to be rolled out commercially by 2020 to meet business and consumer demands.
The group is currently working to evaluate candidate technologies and operator-end requirements for 5G. Besides faster speeds of more than one gigabit-per-second, it aims for 5G technology to boast better latency - the time it takes for a source to send a packet of data - shortening the time it takes for communication between devices and networks.
Singtel's group chief technology officer, Tay Soo Meng, said that the uses for 5G include remote surgery in healthcare and remote excavations from another country for construction. Autonomous cars will also become a reality with 5G, which offers better speed and latency, he said.
The telco said it has already begun preparations for the launch of 5G through technology tests by its Australian subsidiary Optus, as well as the rollout of a 450Mbps 4G LTE-Advanced service - a pre-5G technology it announced last week.