Singtel to boost 4G speed to 1Gbps after trial with Ericsson

12 February 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Singtel and Ericsson have demonstrated 1Gbps on the mobile network of the Singapore operator, which plans to offer the service later this year.

Singtel will focus the investment on key high-traffic locations, but the speed will be available only on certain handsets.

Mark Chong, the group’s CTO, said: “As the world prepares for the 5G era, Singtel is leveraging its spectrum assets and the latest advancements in mobile technology to optimise our network usage.”

The companies are using Singtel’s newly acquired spectrum in the 2,500MHz band with quad-band carrier aggregation (CA) – which means each link uses four frequency channels at once to increase bandwidth. They are also using both frequency-division duplex (FDD), which is common to most mobile networks, and time-division duplex (TDD), a way of making better use of spectrum resources.

Martin Wiktorin, Ericsson’s country manager for Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, said: “Singtel and Ericsson have a common goal of delivering the best mobile network in Singapore by seamlessly combining both FDD and TDD technologies in one 4G LTE network.”

Singtel is adding a system called bandwidth-aware CA, that allows it to manage spectrum more efficiently and enables smartphones to automatically select the best spectrum band combination available, enabling optimum speeds. Ericsson and Singtel estimated that this will give existing subscribers a 20% increase in speed.

Wiktorin said: “Singtel subscribers will be able to enjoy higher speeds with bandwidth-aware CA, which also allows network providers to manage spectrum utilisation more efficiently.”

Singtel said that following the successful trial, it will progressively roll out the new technology at key high traffic locations such as Orchard Road, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Clarke Quay. Handsets supporting the 1Gbps speeds offered by quad-band FDD/TDD CA are expected to be available from the second half of 2018, it added.