Saturday, 27 June 2020 06:55

Huawei left out in the cold in Singapore as Nokia, Ericsson get 5G deals Featured

Huawei left out in the cold in Singapore as Nokia, Ericsson get 5G deals Image by akenarinc from Pixabay

Singapore's telcos have chosen Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson for their 5G networks, leaving China's Huawei, the biggest global provider of 5G equipment, out in the cold.

StarHub, which is jointly building a network with another telco M1, said in a statement that its preferred 5G technology partner for the radio access network would be Nokia. The consortium formed by the two providers is known as JVCo.

The company added: "Nokia is also the preferred technology supplier for StarHub's 5G core and mmWave networks. StarHub is exploring other network elements with vendors including Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE."

In a similar statement, Singtel said: "After a rigorous tender process, Singtel has selected Ericsson to commence a period of negotiation to provide the 5G SA Core, RAN and mmWave network, with a view to finalising the contractual terms as soon as practicable."

Singapore's telecommunications regulator, the Infocomm Media Development Authority, granted spectrum licences to only two bidders.

A bid by TPG Telecom to become Singapore's fourth mobile operator did not go anywhere. The company will, however, be able to offer 5G as a retailer, with the IMDA saying, "Wholesale arrangements for the use of 5G networks provided by Singtel and JVCo will be available to TPG and mobile virtual network operators, which can in turn offer retail 5G services to end users."

TPG did not make any media statement. However, it has made some announcements to the Australian Stock Exchange and in one, dated 25 June, the company said: "The allocation of 800 MHz spectrum across the 26 and 28 GHz bands will allow TPG Singapore to roll out next generation 5G services in support of new consumer and enterprise use cases."

It added that it had been allocated 800 MHz of mmWave spectrum by the IMDA.

TPG also referred to the fact that it had already informed TPG shareholders in an Information Memorandum on 19 May, about the demerger of the Tuas Group, that TPG Singapore was not allocated spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band.

Singapore Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran said: “This 5G Final Award marks the closure of a robust and rigorous CFP process. With this, it sets the stage for the development of a world-class, resilient and secure 5G infrastructure which will be the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy.

"We remain on track for nationwide 5G standalone deployment by 2025. We will build upon this infrastructure to create a vibrant 5G ecosystem, offering exciting opportunities and benefits for individuals, workers and businesses in Singapore’s digital future.”

IMDA chief executive Lew Chuen Hong added: "Our operators’ firm interest in deploying 5G is a robust signal of their confidence in the technology.

"Like all of you, I look forward to the innovative applications that will ride on our 5G networks, to bring enhanced consumer experiences, as well as seed new business models. It is heartening to see our efforts to catalyse a 5G innovation ecosystem taking shape, and we will continue to support this important effort to strengthen our national competitiveness, transform our businesses, create good jobs, and improve our people’s lives.”

Singtel Group chief executive Chua Sock Koong said: "We are excited to get this green light to lead and shape 5G in Singapore by building a world-class, secure and resilient 5G network that will serve as the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy.

"More than a business investment, we see this as a significant investment in Singapore’s digital future as 5G spurs innovation among enterprises and industries, creating new businesses, jobs and economic value in the process.

“This licence is also very timely in light of COVID-19 and the ensuing reliance on robust infrastructure and connectivity. Our existing network capabilities have allowed us to pivot quickly to the needs of the public and businesses at this critical time and 5G will help extend and accelerate the digital adoption we’ve witnessed as we navigate our way out of Covid-19 towards recovery.”

iTWire has contacted Huawei for comment.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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