Nokia and M1 partner to launch Singapore’s first HetNet

M1 Limited and Nokia have announced Singapore’s first commercial HetNet following trials that have taken place over the last year.

HetNet, the integration of large and small cells with different wireless radio technologies such as cellular and WiFi, is expected to enable M1 to provide the best coverage and network capacity to meet the growing demand for ultra-high wifi speeds.

As part of its deployment, M1 will roll out an overlay of Nokia’s integrated small cells and WiFi equipment across hundreds of high-traffic hotspots nationwide, to complement M1’s 4G+ network. Through LTE-WiFi Aggregation (LWA) technology, M1 expects to deliver peak download speeds of more than 1Gbps by 2017.

Deployment sites will include railway stations, malls and popular outdoor areas such as Marina Bay and Clarke Quay. Additionally, the small cells’ compact footprint will allow M1 to deploy them at hard-to-reach areas such as car parks, basements and parks.

The rollout follows M1’s successful trials earlier in the year at the Paragon mall, the Orchard and Raffles Place MRT stations, as well as at multiple locations in Jurong East as part of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) HetNet trials.

M1 claims that its trial trial, utilising both indoor and outdoor small cells, saw customers experience up to 60% improvement in download speeds, and also was more efficient in utilising both macro and small cells in managing network traffic.

“The results from our HetNet technology trials were positive. 90% of users enjoyed a better mobile experience, with faster download and upload speeds. We are pleased that the trials have given our partners such as M1 useful insights and confidence to further enhance the mobile experience through commercial HetNet deployment,” said Mr Gabriel Lim, chief cxecutive-cesignate, Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA).

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