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4G in Singapore by 2016?

Zafar Anjum | April 10, 2012
There are reports that IDA is to auction 4G spectrum from next year.

Singapore consumers using smart devices may enjoy nationwide 4G technology for their mobile communications as early as 2016, according to a report published in The Channel News Asia website.

The news website referred to the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore saying that the government agency in-charge of planning and implementing ICT technology in the country intends to put 320 megahertz (Mhz) of fourth generation (4G) spectrum up for auction in the first half of next year.

IDA had not issued any statement on its official site at the time of writing this report.

4G is the fourth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards and it succeeds the third generation (3G) standards. A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access. According to recent standards released by the International Telecommunication Union, 4G can deliver data speeds of 100 Mbps while on the move and 1 Gbps while stationary or in slow-moving vehicles. The latter is called Long term evolution (LTE) - Advanced.

A total of 280 Mhz will be available for existing providers in Singapore, the report said. It further added that a cap of 90 Mhz will be imposed on individual incumbent providers to prevent excessive hoarding by any one company.

The good news is that new entrants to the industry may also bid for the remaining 40 Mhz, the report clarified.

The adoption of 4G will mean phasing out of 2G technology but the report said IDA has not set a timeline for doing so.

So far, two 4G candidate systems are commercially deployed: The Mobile WiMAX standard and the first-release Long term evolution (LTE) standard. The first was deployed in South Korea in 2006. India got its first 4G service with the country's largest mobile services provider Bharti Airtel launching services on 10 April based on the TD-LTE technology in the north-eastern city of Kolkata.


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