Full 4G mobile services across Singapore by mid-2016: IDA

Telecom Lead Asia: Nationwide 4G mobile coverage in
Singapore may be achieved from the middle of 2016, based on proposals by the
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).


The authority hopes to open up more airwaves in three
radio-frequency bands for 4G that telcos can bid on: 1.8GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz.


These bands are currently used for 2G services and
wireless-broadband access. Some airwaves in the 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz bands are
already being used for 4G.


IDA said it is offering new airwaves for 4G to meet
consumer demand because it anticipates that mobile-data demand will increase
exponentially in the next few years.


Winning bidders of the airwaves must have nationwide 4G
systems and service coverage in place one year after allocation. Underground
and tunnel coverage has to be in place three years after allocation.


In December, SingTel launched its 4G service for
consumers. The operator plans to provide LTE coverage for 80 per cent of mobile
users by the end of this year, and 95 per cent by early next year.


M1 rolled out LTE services in the Central Business
District for companies last June, with that for consumers expected in the
second half of this year.


StarHub expects to roll out LTE services by the end of
the year, covering areas such as Changi Airport and Marina Bay. It is exploring
tiered data plans, and will roll out LTE gradually across the island.


The nationwide rollout of the 4G mobile network will
likely be complete by 2016.


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