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*

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