Singtel to pilot Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN as part of 5G strategy

Singtel retail shop in SingaporeTelecom operator Singtel, as part of its 5G strategy, will be doing pilot on Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN on its 4G LTE network in Singapore to enhance speed and capacity.

Ericsson, the technology partner, said both Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN technologies are the main components in the evolution to 5G.

ALSO READ: Mobile World Congress 2017

Ericsson and Singtel signed a 5G MoU in January 2015 and showcased a 5G system in Southeast Asia in August 2016, achieving a downlink speed of 27.5 Gbps.

“We are investing ahead to ensure that our networks have the capacity and speeds that will offer our customers the best mobile data experience in Singapore,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, chief executive officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel.
Singtel enterprise revenue in Q3 2016-17Singtel, which offers the fastest mobile data speeds at 450 Mbps, says video traffic represents more than half of mobile traffic. The video traffic is expected to increase with increasing adoption of video applications such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 360-degree video.

Singtel believes that Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) is key to achieving Gigabit LTE speeds as it improves spectral efficiency to triple or quadruple the number of data paths of cellular base stations.

Singtel will test and deploy Ericsson AIR 6468 radio, providing 64T64R Massive MIMO capabilities, on its 4G LTE network. Pilot of Cloud RAN will provide flexibility to centralise, distribute, scale and virtualise radio access network functions to meet performance requirements today and on the road to 5G.

Meanwhile, Verizon is taking 5G from technology trials to pre-commercial pilots in multiple cities across the United States. The fixed wireless, pre-commercial customer pilots, scheduled to begin in the 1st half of 2017, will enable the refining of a 5G network using a mixture of new technology and existing Verizon infrastructure.

“Verizon is driving the commercial deployment of 5G with the collaboration and innovation of the Verizon 5G Technology Forum, including partners like Ericsson. This partnership keeps us on-track to be first to bring 5G to Verizon customers,” said Ed Chan, senior VP, Technology Strategy and Planning at Verizon.