Singaporean mobile operator Singtel and Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson yesterday (17 September) reported that they achieved peak LTE speeds of up to 1.5Gbps in a lab environment, using five-carrier aggregation (5CA) technology. The pair claimed that this is ‘the fastest in Asia in this setup and 50% faster than the prevailing 1Gbps speed that the two companies announced in February this year’. The enhanced network speed was achieved using a combination of two 1800MHz frequencies, together with 2100MHz, 2600MHz and TDD 2500MHz spectrum bands and technologies such as FDD & TDD, 256QAM and 4X4 MIMO. Going forward, Singtel intends a phased deployment of 5CA across the island as more spectrum bands are allocated for its LTE network. It says that once introduced in the live network, it will improve user experience and enhance network capacity. The press release also points out that smartphones supporting 1.5Gbps speeds are scheduled to be launched in 2019.
Elsewhere, Singtel and Ericsson will launch a pilot 5G network in Singapore in the fourth quarter of 2018. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July this year Singtel confirmed that the trials are due to take place over the pilot network in ‘one-north’, Singapore’s science, business and IT hub, using trial spectrum allocated by the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). Commenting on the 5G pilot network plan, Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer at Singtel, said: ‘5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications … We are pleased to take another bold step in our journey to 5G with our 5G pilot network at one-north and invite enterprises to start shaping their digital future with us.’