Two of the major telcos from Singapore – StarHub and M1 have signed an exclusive agreement to jointly bid for 5G license nearly three weeks before the closing date of applications, which is 17 February 2020.
Singapore’s regulatory authority Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had announced about the availability of 5G licenses back in October. These licenses would allow the operators to run 5G services in standalone (SA) mode. The licenses were supposed to provide 3.5 GHz spectrum chunk for standalone 5G networks.
All four telecom operators in Singapore – M1, StarHub, Singtel and TPG were asked to submit their proposals for these two spectrum packages in bidding. As per their exclusive agreement, StarHub and M1 are going to jointly submit 5G proposal rather than submitting it individually.
Telcos that are provided with the license will be required to deploy 5G network in standalone mode on 3.5 GHz band with support for the applications such as network slicing as well as URLLC.
IMDA also said that the telcos which miss out on these two 5G licenses will be provided with two lots of 800 MHz mmWave spectrum chunk. The same will be used to offer 5G services on existing 4G networks in non-standalone (NSA) mode. However, it will not be a full-fledged 5G experience though the speeds will be higher than 4G.