From August 18, StarHub customers on the telco’s new Mobile+ or Biz+ mobile plans will be the first in Singapore to experience the new 5G network.

There will be no additional sign-ups or charges required for existing customers.

StarHub says its 5G signals currently cover some 53% of Singapore’s populated areas. The network will expand to reach 70% of coverage by September 2020.

On August 7, StarHub posted a 5.6% y-o-y drop in 2Q20 earnings to $37.3 million.

See also: StarHub posts 5.6% drop in 2Q20 earnings to $37.3 million on lower revenue

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

The three telcos were awarded the 5G licenses by IMDA on April 29.

See also: Analysts mixed on telco prospects after 5G licences are awarded

In a separate statement, the IMDA announced that it will support Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) plan to ride on existing 4G networks to deploy 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) networks as part of trials to allow consumers to enjoy partial 5G experiences in the short-term,

With 5G, consumers get to enjoy faster mobile speeds as a key feature.

IMDA says the country remains on track to deploy two nationwide 5G standalone (SA) networks by 2025, with 5G SA capabilities covering at least half of Singapore by end-2022.

In the meantime, MNOs have indicated an interest in using Non-Standalone (NSA) networks as a short-term and transitory arrangement, while the SA networks are being deployed.

Riding on existing 4G networks, the 5G NSA networks will enable consumers to enjoy some 5G benefits such as faster mobile speeds on 5G-enabled devices. Upon IMDA’s approval, operators will be allowed to conduct market trials and offer some early commercial 5G services to consumers.

Shares in StarHub closed flat at $1.23 on August 17.