Singtel to deploy Massive MIMO technology at special events

The journey to 5G by Singtel continues, it’s shaping up nicely and progressing towards reaching the 5G standards. Singtel recently announced that they would be deploying massive MIMO technology at special events in Singapore, starting with National Day Parade 2017, taking place very soon on 9th August 2017!

For those who regularly visited National Day Parades over the years, whether at the parade ground itself or in the nearby vicinity, we would encountered and experienced no mobile network coverage due to the huge number of people in the area. With the deployment of the massive MIMO technology, that would relieve the issues that mobile users faced previously. I am looking forward to Singapore reaching the 5G technology standards, it would be very helpful and useful for businesses and consumers.

Let me share with you more information on Singtel to deploy massive MIMO technology at special events from the press release information:

Singtel announced plans to deploy Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology commercially on its LTE-Advanced mobile network, to enhance mobile data speed experience by up to 200% at special events for its customers. A precursor to 5G technology, Massive MIMO is an advanced solution used to boost network capacity in highly dense environments.

Singtel will team up with Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE to deploy Massive MIMO technology at the Marina Bay area. For a start, Singtel will roll out the network boost at the upcoming National Day celebrations, with other deployments planned for the Singapore F1 Night Race and the New Year countdown event.

Over 150,000 people are expected at the Marina Bay area to celebrate National Day. Singtel mobile customers gathered there will be able to enjoy a better data experience as they share their photos and videos of the exciting performances and fireworks on social media.

Mr Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, said: “On the joyous occasion of our National Day celebrations, Singtel is pleased to be pairing our newly-acquired 2.5GHz spectrum with Massive MIMO technology to expand our network capacity and offer our customers an enhanced mobile experience at this and other special events. We look forward to rolling out new technologies and innovative solutions to support the anticipated growth in mobile data.”

Globally, large crowds gathered at events, such as concerts and festivals, use high volumes of data to share their experiences via real-time videos on social media. This extraordinary behaviour generates a dramatic spike in network traffic, presenting a challenge for operators to provide fast and consistent data speeds.

Singtel has identified Massive MIMO as one of the solutions to the problem. Singtel will use Massive MIMO base stations featuring a large array of 64 antennas that improve spectral efficiency and cell capacity using innovations in radio technologies. The innovative antenna system channels signals to users’ specific locations instead of broadcasting across a geographical area. This multiplies the number of data paths from the cellular base stations, thus increasing network capacity and improving user experience.

Singtel provides Singapore’s fastest nationwide mobile data speeds at 450Mbps and recently launched 800Mbps speeds in the high-traffic Orchard Road area. In addition to having the island’s widest outdoor 4G coverage as rated by IMDA1 for 10 consecutive quarters, Singtel is also ranked the fastest telco in Singapore by global metrics leader, Ookla.

For more information on Singtel’s mobile data speeds, please visit here.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Journey to 5G: Singtel & Ericsson working together on Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN

The journey to 5G in Singapore, in the article that I wrote about earlier, is in the process of picking up speed and momentum. Adding on to what I shared, Singtel and Ericsson made an announcement in February 2017 that they are working together to pilot Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN on Singtel 4G LTE network, two key components in the journey to 5G in Singapore.

The information that I would be sharing from the press release can be very technical and it may be not that easy to fully understand when you first read it due to the complexity and technicality of the information communications / mobile networks industry.

The key takeaways would be that these two components are essential to the development and growth of 5G networks in Singapore, when the journey to 5G is reached, consumers can enjoy the benefits of faster mobile network speed, your usage and consumption, would increase and power more different type of devices/technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, 4K videos, social media, in your personal life and also your work profession.

Personally, the journey to 5G in Singapore might be faster to arrive than we are expecting. Moving towards a digital, technology savvy and well connected economy and country, 5G networks and technology has the capability to help Singapore in its growth and we would need to look at how to leverage and ride on the 5G technology, in improving our workflow and communications.

Let me share with you more information and details from the press release information below:

Singtel and Ericsson are working together to pilot Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN on Singtel’s 4G LTE network. Both technologies are key components in the evolution to 5G that will enable Singtel to expand its mobile network capacity to offer faster speeds by the end of the year.

Video traffic represents more than half of mobile traffic today. It is set to rise further with increasing adoption of video applications such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 360-degree video, which imposes high demand on network capacity. This is why networks need to evolve to gradually achieve ultra-high bandwidth, pervasive connectivity and low latency promised with 5G.

Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) is key to achieving Gigabit LTE speeds as it improves spectral efficiency to triple or quadruple the number of data paths of cellular base stations. This expands network capacity and improves user experience. Ericsson AIR 6468 radio, providing 64T64R Massive MIMO capabilities, will be tested and progressively deployed on Singtel’s 4G LTE network.

Both companies will also embark on a pilot of Cloud RAN which will provide Singtel with the flexibility to centralise, distribute, scale and virtualise radio access network functions to efficiently meet performance requirements today and on the road to 5G.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Data traffic is on the rise and will increase exponentially with 4K video, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality services on the horizon. We are investing ahead to ensure that our networks have the capacity and speeds that will offer our customers the best mobile data experience in Singapore.”

Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, said, “Our collaboration with Singtel provides a unique opportunity to be part of their 5G journey.”

Singtel offers Singapore’s widest mobile coverage and fastest mobile data speeds at 450Mbps. Singtel and Ericsson first signed a 5G MOU in January 2015 and were the first to showcase a 5G system in Southeast Asia in August 2016, achieving a downlink speed of 27.5 Gbps.

*Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications*

NGMN Forum 2017 hosted by Singtel

In January 2017, Singtel hosted Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum in Singapore, held at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Although this article post is a bit delayed, the progress and plans for the next generation mobile networks, technology, infrastructure, usage and growth are ongoing, building and expanding towards 5G in Singapore, coming soon in a few years time.

I was at the NGMN Forum 2017 on the first day, listened to the opening address by Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecom and Postal) Ms Aileen Chia. She shared some key pointers for the participants at NGMN Forum 2017, the future and growth of mobile networks, in Singapore and around the world. While the content and topics looked like they were only for Business to Business (B2B), in reality, the journey towards 5G for Singapore and around the world affects and impacts everybody (in both good and bad ways), from the businesses to the end consumer in the society. The future of the world, also for Singapore, are about technology changes, disruption, innovation and transformation from the business organisations to the end consumers. The information communications sector, economy and society are able to embrace opportunities and challenges. The next big thing is Data, the “new oil” of the 21st century. The future digital economy, IoT (Internet of Things), devices and how we consume data, use data in our daily life and work, this is going to be massive.

After listening to the opening address, I had a tour around some of the partners showcase of their 5G technology and infrastructure. Singtel is making a lot of progress in their 5G journey in Singapore and during an earlier event in August 2016 organised by Singtel that I attended – Singtel and Ericsson were the first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia. The changes, impacts and opportunities with 5G are coming soon to us in Singapore, on both the B2B and B2C level.

On the B2B level, the partners exhibiting their 5G infrastructure and application of the 5G technology, I saw drones in action that could be activated during natural disaster, robotics obeying the commands of the human hand movement, traffic light control, security and surveillance, all of them powered by the upcoming 5G technology networks.

On the B2C level, as the consumer on the street, what do you think? How would 5G change the way you consume data, communicate with family, relatives and friends? How would 5G help, impact or even affect your work?

5G in Singapore is arriving in a few years time, the groundwork and infrastructure are being prepared and it’s building up speed and momentum.

5G in Singapore by year 2020, maybe it might even be earlier?

Journey to 5G: Singtel is a step closer to 5G

In August 2016, I shared an article on Singtel and Ericsson leading the way in Singapore and Southeast Asia, being the first to showcase 5G technology. Today, in January 2017, Singtel is now a step closer to 5G with the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds. With a step closer to 5G, it’s going to change how we work and live with our mobile data usage.

Having to work on the move and outside, the high speed 5G networks in the near future would help us a lot when we are working outside away from the office. The 5G networks are now a step closer to us in Singapore with Singtel’s launch of the 450Mbps mobile data speeds.

Let me share with you more information on the launch of nationwide 450Mbps mobile data speeds by Singtel from the press release information below –

Singtel launched Singapore’s fastest mobile network with the nationwide deployment of a 450Mbps 4G LTE-Advanced service. Delivering up to 50% faster download speeds than prevailing LTE services, this enhanced peak speed will allow customers to download a full length HD movie in less than two minutes1 over mobile data. The 450Mbps service is available to all Singtel 4G customers at no additional charge.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Singtel is investing ahead to deliver faster speeds and wider connections with the steady deployment of innovative technologies on our live network. With more customers consuming and sharing mobile videos, 450Mbps speeds will enable them to download movies in a flash and give them a better entertainment experience while on the go.”

This speed enhancement is made possible by Singtel’s nationwide LTE network upgrade to support 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, or 256 QAM. A pre-5G technology, 256 QAM increases the number of unique radio waveform shapes to carry up to 33.33% higher data and elevates spectral efficiency.

Customers with Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge can enjoy 450Mbps speeds starting today. LG V20 users will also be able to harness the higher speeds with a soon-to-be released software update. More compatible smartphone models are expected to be launched by early 2017.

Singtel and Ericsson demonstrate up to 1Gbps LTE downlink data speeds on live network

Singtel and Ericsson have also demonstrated download speeds of up to 1Gbps in a live 4G network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris. This ultra-fast download speed was achieved by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4×4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation technologies. 4×4 MIMO doubles the number of data paths between a cellular base station and mobile phones, delivering a speed boost of up to two times normal speeds.

Singtel will progressively rollout 4×4 MIMO technology on its network starting next year to deliver up to 1Gbps speeds at selected high-traffic locations. Supporting mobile devices are expected to be ready by end 2017.

Mr Yuen added, “Achieving 1Gbps speeds on our live network marks a significant milestone in our journey to 5G. We’re focused on driving further network innovation to extend our leadership and deliver the benefits of the latest technological advances to meet our customers’ digital lifestyle needs.”

Mr Martin Wiktorin, Country Manager of Ericsson Singapore and Brunei, said, “As user expectations for high speed internet and the ability to use apps on the move increase, network innovations with new advanced technologies are required to enable superior network performance. Ericsson, as a long-standing strategic partner of Singtel for over 20 years, is pleased to collaborate with Singtel to deliver innovative and advanced services to their customers and to further explore the opportunities that will arise with 5G.”

Singtel and Ericsson are leading the way for 4G and 5G in the country, in support of Singapore’s “Smart Nation” vision and the anticipated four-fold growth2 in connected devices. Recently, Singtel and Ericsson jointly won the “Advancing the Road to 5G” accolade at the Global Telecoms Awards 2016 for Singtel’s nationwide IoT-ready 4G LTE network.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Singtel and Ericsson first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia

The journey to 5G has already begun, with Singtel and Ericsson leading the way in Singapore and Southeast Asia, being the first to showcase 5G technology. I was at the Singtel and Ericsson joint demonstration event recently, witnessing the potential and capabilities of the upcoming 5G technology and mobile networks.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is gearing up towards a higher level on all fronts, with 5G being an integral part of IoT technology and growth in the local, regional and international context. In recent months, I started to learn more about IoT even though I had been an avid consumer, user and practitioner of technology products and services over the years through my photography, social media sharing, using smartphones, tablets and laptops. Here are some of my earlier articles relating to IoT – Internet of Things, AXON Platform by GreenWave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 and The Next Wave and Trends (From Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai).

Our current network is 4G/LTE and it’s pretty fast for me to use it when I am on the move, maybe except in places where there are huge crowds and everybody wants to share something on their social media channels thus the 4G/LTE network gets jammed up and slows down. With this upcoming 5G technology and networks, it’s going to a lot faster! The arrival of 5G is not too far away, just a few years away from 2020. This is going to impact how we users consume mobile data, digital content and digital lifestyle.

On a personal, B2C, leisure and consumer level, for those who spend time on their mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) watching videos, entertainment, dramas, playing online games etc, I reckon you would love 5G network when it is finally here. On a commercial, B2B level, 5G has some potential big impacts on how businesses would be changed and operated differently. At the Singtel and Ericsson event, I had a glimpse into these 2 areas on the impacts of the upcoming 5G.

How is Singtel and Ericsson leading the way with 5G ? Let me share the news with you from the press release information below –

Singtel and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) have joined forces in Singapore to bring 5G innovation to Southeast Asia for the first time with a live demonstration of the potential of 5G.

The “Making 5G Innovation A Reality” demonstration features Ericsson’s 5G Radio Prototypes to showcase some of the ground-breaking capabilities offered by the new technology, achieving a peak throughput of 27.5Gbps and latency as low as 2ms. Singtel and Ericsson also demonstrated the world’s first end-to-end (from the time the video is captured at the server end to the time it is displayed at the device) low latency live video streaming over 5G.

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This milestone is a result of the 5G memorandum of understanding signed by Ericsson and Singtel last year, which involved evaluating and testing technologies that are strong candidates for future 5G standardisation.

Singtel and Ericsson are leading the way for 4G and 5G in Singapore, in support of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and the anticipated four-fold growth1 in connected devices. As 5G offers greater throughput and lower latency, it will bring more use cases to Internet of Things (IoT), enabling massive connectivity and allowing new applications for consumers and enterprises such as smart vehicles and transport architecture, remote healthcare and new levels of human-IoT interaction.

Mr Tay Soo Meng, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, says, “We strive to upgrade our networks with cutting-edge enhancements, constantly offering our customers all the possibilities that technology brings. Singapore is at the forefront of the most connected cities in the world and now we want to take it to the next level. 5G is very important to the Singtel Group as it will support advanced communication needs. To ensure the Group continues our technology leadership in the mobile communications domain, we are exploring, studying and trialling pre-5G technologies with Ericsson.”

Dr Magnus Ewerbring, Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson APAC says, “5G will enable the full potential of Ericsson’s vision of the Networked Society and 5G performance will benefit consumers, business users and entire industries in Singapore. Together with Singtel we have launched many world-first and nation-first achievements with the 4G network since 2011 and we will be together at the forefront of 5G as well.”

The aim is for 5G networks to be highly efficient, faster, support more users, more devices, more services, and new use cases without a corresponding impact on cost or carbon footprint. 5G will revolutionise five key industries including TV and media, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation and infrastructure.

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Singtel is progressing well on its 5G journey, deploying key pre-5G technologies such as LTE-Advanced (Carrier aggregation, 256QAM) on its live network and taking the next step to LTE Advanced Pro (LAA, NB-IoT). These radio technology upgrades deliver superior connectivity, characterised by faster and more consistent speeds, to its customers.

With 5G expected to be standardised and commercially available by 2020, Ericsson’s 5G Radio Prototypes enable operators, ecosystem partners, academics and analysts to test 5G capabilities live.

Some key capabilities include multipoint connectivity with distributed multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) and 5G-LTE dual connectivity, to ensure a smooth evolution to 5G and rapid adoption of new 5G-based services.

The Ericsson 5G Radio Prototype has demonstrated not only record-breaking throughput, but also the tight interworking between network layers, frequency bands, and technology standards that will be critical to ensuring seamless connectivity for billions of connected devices, machines and things, supporting consumer, business and industrial applications.

*Information and pictures courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications*

* I would like to thank Singtel for the invitation to the Singtel and Ericsson “Making 5G Innovation A Reality” demonstration event. *