SINGAPORE: To spur innovation and to provide the underpinnings of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) in Singapore, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) will waive frequency fees for 5th generation mobile network (5G) trials with immediate effect, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim announced on Tuesday (May 23).
5G, which is expected to be rolled out by 2020, promises blazing fast speeds compared to the 4G mobile network, with projected download speeds anywhere between 1 to 10Gbps. The fastest mobile network service in Singapore is currently 450Mbps, but median 4G speeds range from 16 to 18Mbps, depending on your telecoms provider.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange held at Marina Bay Sands, Dr Yaacob said IMDA will seek industry views of 5G spectrum requirements and regulatory provisions and feedback on how policies can move in tandem with technology. The consultation period kicks off on Tuesday and ends on Jul 7.
This is the first set of consultations as part of a wider consultation exercise to ensure infrastructural plans meet industry needs. “To further multiply the potential of IoT and to further fuel the digital economy, IMDA will be partnering the industry to develop and put in place key components of future-ready and resilient communications infrastructure that will benefit consumers and businesses across various sectors,” Dr Yaacob said.
IMDA said 5G trials conducted by mobile network operators in Singapore have shown “promising capabilities” and the move to waive frequency fees will lower regulatory barriers for companies, as well as encourage the industry to explore the potential benefits and applications of 5G.
It has already identified several spectrum bands that could be suitable for 5G in Singapore.
Additionally, IMDA is considering developing regulations to support the deployment of spectrum aggregation technologies that could help mobile network operators increase mobile data speeds and overall network capacity.