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Ericsson powers Singtel’s 5G SA network in Singapore

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Ericsson has announced it will power Singtel’s 5G SA network with 5G radio access products and cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core network services.

The Ericsson product range is designed to deliver connectivity for outdoor coverage in densely populated areas and help drive indoor-mall coverage across the city-state. Ericsson and Singtel have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with several global industry partners to develop 5G enterprise services in Singapore.

According to the May 2021 ConsumerLab report – Five Ways to a Better 5G – indoor 5G coverage at public places has become two times more important than mobile data speed in delivering satisfactory 5G experiences for consumers in Singapore.

Super-fast response times

In addition, Ericsson’s solutions for 5G SA will provide super-fast response times and faster access to higher data rates that are required by cloud gaming, immersive media and vehicles or robot control.

This connectivity will also help drive the future-readiness of Singtel’s network, creating new business opportunities, according to Ericsson statement.

Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, says: “We are pleased to partner Ericsson in our 5G journey. Together, we launched Singapore’s first 5G standalone network and achieved the fastest 5G speeds this year. 5G is a game changer that will drive greater innovation, and in turn strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading digital hub.”

For the past 30 years, Ericsson and Singtel have achieved multiple milestones together in Singapore. This partnership includes leading the way in 5G in the city-state – achieving Singapore’s fastest 5G speeds, the launch of Singtel’s GENIE, the world’s first portable 5G-in-a-box platform powered by Ericsson to enable enterprises to experience 5G’s capabilities; and the establishment of 5G Garage, the country’s first live 5G facility to drive 5G solutions for enterprises in collaboration with Singtel and Singapore Polytechnic.

Develop advanced 5G enterprise solutions

To nurture a growing and vibrant local 5G ecosystem, Ericsson and Singtel have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several global industry partners to develop advanced 5G enterprise solutions in Singapore. The MoU will utilize test facilities and capabilities to innovate solutions and scale them for global deployment. The partners are ABB, Axis Communications, Bosch, Bosch Rexroth, Cradlepoint, DHL, Hexagon, PTC and Rohde & Schwarz.

Martin Wiktorin, Head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, says: “5G SA will allow consumers in Singapore to experience the full benefits of 5G connectivity and also enable businesses across industries to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability and security. As Singtel’s long-standing partner, we are proud to support the roll-out of one of the first 5G SA networks in the world. As a global ICT leader, we have already accumulated a wealth of technology expertise through the deployment close to 100 live 5G networks worldwide.” 

Journalist for 8 years in print media, with a bachelor degree in Political Science and International Affairs. Masters in Media communications.

5G

Smart targets triple-digit growth in 5G users in next few years

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Philippines operator Smart Communications targets a triple-digit increase of its 5G user base in the next few years.

Smart currently has 800,000 5G customers, which represents a 200 percent increase from December 2020. Smart also reports a 3-fold increase in 5G data traffic in its network in the first and second quarters of 2021.

“When it comes to 5G, speed and coverage are the most important considerations. This is why since we pioneered the Philippines’ first 5G commercial service last year, our focus has been to lead in both 5G speeds and 5G coverage so as to empower Filipinos with world-class customer experience,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications President and CEO.

According to Smart, this outlook is based on the rapid growth of Smart 5G users, which has reached around 800,000 – a 200 percent increase from the number of Smart 5G users in December 2020.

Additionally, the operator has delivered a three-fold increase in 5G traffic in the first and second quarter of 2021 which contributed to Smart’s 39.5 million mobile data users as of end-June, resulting in a double-digit increase in mobile data revenues compared to the same period last year.

Ookla has recognized Smart as the fastest and most reliable 5G mobile network in the Philippines for Q1 and Q2 with media download and upload speeds that are twice faster than its closest rival.

Smart is also the only Philippine telco service provider included in Opensignal’s 5G Global Leaders for Video Experience ranked alongside other 5G leaders such as South Korea’s SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, Thailand’s AIS, and other operators from Croatia, Finland, Hong Kong, Germany, Netherlands, Taiwan, and United Kingdom. To date, Smart has also deployed over 4,400 5G sites in more than 4,000 locations.

“By having both the fastest and widest 5G network in the country today, Smart is in the best position to drive 5G adoption among Filipinos so that they can experience its game-changing benefits when it comes to productivity, business, and entertainment,” said Panlilio.

To date, Smart has also deployed over 4,400 5G sites in more than 4,000 locations – the widest 5G network coverage in the country.

Early this month, Smart also put the Philippines on the 5G world map as it fired up the first batch of its commercial 5G Standalone (SA) sites in Makati City, one of the first 5G SA networks in the world.

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Airtel, Ericsson launch India’s first rural 5G trial

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Indian Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Swedish vendor Ericsson initiated a plan of what seems to be India’s first rural 5G network trial, enabling access to high broadband in the areas.

Initiated in the village Bhaipur Bramanan by using a 5G trial spectrum given to Airtel from India’s Department of Telecom, the trial could hold great capabilities to break the digital divide between urban and rural parts of the country.

The 5G trial determined speed efficiency as it covered 200 Mbps through a 3GPP-compliant 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) device, reaching a distance of over 10 km from the initial site’s location, at a distance of approximately 20km. Airtel delivered the 5G trial’s coverage via its existing 4G towers. 

3GPP, defined as the 3rd Generation Partnership, unites seven telecommunication standard development organizations under one umbrella, known as “Organizational Partners.” It provides members with a stable environment to create Reports and Specifications that define 3GPP technologies.

The project covers main pillars related to telecommunication technologies, such as radio access, core network, and service capabilities.

Moreover, the trial demonstrated promising results in terms of speed as it marked a 100MB/s speed on a smartphone.

Both companies disclosed that the 5G trial’s results have showcased that the technology is fit to deliver high-speed exposure in remote areas.

“The technology milestone of extended coverage achieved by Ericsson and Airtel as part of the ongoing 5G trial in India is even more significant since it demonstrates how 5G can ‘connect the unconnected in India, enable faster 5G rollout and truly help India realize its ‘Digital India’ vision,” Head of Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceana and India, Nunzio Mirtillo said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Airtel deployed its urban 5G trials, after acquiring a license in May, and will stay in effect for six months. The telco revealed that 5G will play a fundamental role in intertwining India’s rural population of 900 million in a digital way.

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Ericsson, Singtel partner on 5G services in Singapore

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Ericsson and Singtel have partnered on the deployment of 5G services in Singapore, by having the partnership benefit from Ericsson’s networking expertise and Singtel’s 5G network, test facilities and capabilities.

The partnership also involves collaboration with global industry partners across various industries such as oil and gas, maritime, pharmaceutical, aerospace, financial services, retail and construction.

Thee global partners are ABB, Axis Communications, Bosch, Bosch Rexroth, DHL Supply Chain, Hexagon, PTC and Rohde & Schwarz as well as Cradlepoint (part of Ericsson and provider of enterprise 5G wireless edge solutions).

Ericsson said in a statement, “Singtel recently announced a ramp up of its 5G roll out across Singapore and to accelerate the adoption of 5G by enterprises.”

Mr Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel, said, “We are always looking for ways to stimulate conversations and drive even more innovation to encourage more 5G adoption by enterprises.”

He added: ”Our partnership with Ericsson has been key to our 5G roll out and offers us a unique opportunity to come together to build an open platform for enterprises to ideate, co-create, test and eventually go-to-market.”

We have seen some encouraging outcomes from our early trials, Chang noted, and the key to that success is our common goal of transforming the future of business operations by harnessing the power of 5G.

“These trials are the springboard to more innovation and we welcome more enterprises to come on board with their ideas.”

 A total of three trials are ongoing, with ABB, Hexagon and Axis Communications among the first companies to have started their trials, which span across advanced manufacturing, logistics, smart city development, analytics and industrial automation.

ABB has successfully tested the potential of 5G in the industrial manufacturing space, supporting the low latency operation of an ABB collaborative robot. The test was conducted in ABB’s workshop, where ABB’s single-arm YuMi® cobot was connected to Singtel’s 5G GENIE to access an on-site Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) platform.

The partnership builds on the joint 5G initiatives rolled out by both companies in the past year. These include achieving Singapore’s fastest 5G speeds of 3.2 Gbps at Singtel’s unmanned pop-up retail store UNBOXED, using Ericsson’s high bandwidth, low latency 28 GHz mmWave technology as well as Singtel’s GENIE, the world’s first portable 5G-in-a-box platform powered by Ericsson to enable enterprises to experience 5G’s capabilities and trial use cases in their own premises.

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