Singapore mobile operator M1 Limited and Chinese vendor Huawei say they have successfully achieved Singapore’s highest 5G transmission speeds of 35 Gbps. The demonstration was conducted over the 73 GHz band, or E-Band spectrum, and took place at M1’s main operating center in Jurong.
“Singapore’s mobile networks are widely acknowledged as amongst the most advanced worldwide, and M1 is committed to staying at the forefront of 5G technology to ensure our consumers enjoy the best experience and latest smart applications,” said M1’s Chief Technical Officer Denis Seek in a press release.
Singapore has its sights set on being a Smart Nation, with the government, for example, increasing data center virtualization to allow for faster time to produce new digital services. M1 says the low latency in a 5G network is vital to power smart applications as part of the Smart Nation, and Huawei’s committed to the deployment of a 5G network by 2020.
A year ago, M1 and Huawei together achieved a combined download and upload speed of more than 1 Gbps in a trial that used commercial hardware infrastructure supplied by Huawei and a prototype CAT14 device. The trial involved the integration of four advanced network technologies: 3 CC (three component carrier) aggregation, 4x4 MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), Higher Order Modulation 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) and 2 CC uplink carrier aggregation.
Earlier this month, Singtel announced it had launched the fastest mobile network in Singapore with the nationwide deployment of a 450 Mbps LTE-Advanced service. That speed enhancement was made possible by Singtel’s nationwide LTE network upgrade to support 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. Initially, the service is available on a few devices from Samsung and LG, but more compatible smartphone models are expected to be launched early this year.
Singtel and Ericsson also have demonstrated download speeds of up to 1 Gbps in a live 4G network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris. That download speed was achieved by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4x4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation technologies.
Singtel will progressively rollout 4x4 MIMO technology on its network to deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds at selected high-traffic locations. Supporting mobile devices are expected to be ready by the end of 2017. The carrier notes that 4x4 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 and Ericsson jointly won the “Advancing the Road to 5G” category at the Global Telecoms Awards 2016 for Singtel’s nationwide IoT-ready 4G LTE network. The two companies last year set out to collaborate on Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) to enable Singtel to support new IoT uses cases in areas such as smart cities, utilities and the environment. Singtel’s LTE network also supports Category 1 devices.