SINGAPORE (June 24): The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has granted Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), M1, and StarHub the final 5G network licence award on Wednesday, following the completion of the required regulatory processes.

The processes involved spectrum seating and the completion of technical and legal due diligence.

In a statement, M1 said that together with StarHub, both companies have decided to go with Nokia to build the radio access network (RAN) for the 5G standalone (SA) network infrastructure.

M1 has also selected Nokia to be the vendor to build the network core of the 5G infrastructure. For the deployment of localised networks operating in the mmWave spectrum, M1 will be looking to work with multiple network vendors which will include Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei.

Singtel has chosen 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.

With the award, M1 will start to roll out its 5G network coverage across Singapore.

All three telcos will have to roll out their 5G networks from January 2021, and nationwide 5G outdoor coverage by 2025.

“The development of Singapore’s 5G network is an exciting mission that inspires and motivates all of us at M1… We are already witnessing 5G’s transformational role in various sectors, such as the manufacturing, maritime and F&B industries,” says Manjot Singh Mann, CEO of M1.

“Coupled with further cutting-edge technology, 5G will be the backbone and drive the next bound of Singapore’s digital economy, reinforcing its position as the region’s technology and connectivity hub. The 5G rollout will also enable the delivery of new, innovative products and services to consumers, enterprise and government, which will boost the economy and lead to creation of job opportunities,” he adds.

“We are excited to get this greenlight 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,” says Chua Sock Koong, group CEO of Singtel.

“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,” she adds.

Shares in Keppel Corporation, which M1 is a part of, closed flat at $6.04. Shares in Singtel closed 1 cent higher, or 0.4% up, at $2.53.

See: No vendors were excluded in 5G rollout: Iswaran