Nokia and StarHub (opens in new tab) have announced that they will be conducting South East Asia’s first live 5G non-standalone (NSA) network trial, across Singapore, which will be running until 16 February 2021.
StarHub is a Singaporean telecommunications company, and became one of the four major telcos in the country, following the liberalisation of Singapore’s telecommunications sector in 2002, with the others being Singtel, M1 and TPG Telecom.
“At StarHub, we are excited to be the first to offer customers in Singapore the 5G experience,” said Chong Siew Loong, CTO at StarHub. “We continue to develop and advance our Network towards SA 5G through close collaboration with our trusted partners. To help us evolve quickly and easily towards 5G NSA, we chose Nokia’s Single RAN portfolio as it brings new capabilities, improved network efficiency and end user experience. We look forward to harness the full potential of 5G for Singapore.”
Built on existing 4G infrastructure
The trial will begin with the introduction of a 5G NSA network, leveraging existing 4G infrastructure, which will enable StarHub customers to experience the benefits of 5G, with enhanced coverage and performance at major residential and commercial hubs of Singapore. Following this, StarHub will then expand the 5G NSA network coverage, and expects it to reach 70 percent penetration by September 2020.
“This project marks the beginning of a new chapter in the long-established partnership between Nokia and StarHub,” said Ngiam Ming Kin, head of Singapore at Nokia. “It will allow us to align with Singapore's Smart Nation vision to create a world-class 5G infrastructure. We are excited to continue supporting StarHub in its mission to make 5G services a reality and a success in Singapore.”
By using 4G infrastructure at the start of the trial, StarHub will be able to provide higher data bandwidth and reliable connectivity to its subscribers, without the need for a major infrastructure overhaul. (The network utilizes Nokia’s end-to-end core and radio solutions, enabling the efficient use of spectrum to deliver 5G services.)