Singtel’s 5G Strategy Includes an Aggressive Stand-Alone Core Network Deployment

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By Kangrui Ling | 1Q 2021 | IN-6060


Accelerated 5G SA Deployment in Singapore


ABI Research’s IoT Market Tracker 5G (MD-IOTM5G-108) forecasts 5G IoT revenue to reach US$1.1 billion by 2025, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 154% between 2021 to 2026. This opportunity is being pursued by many countries as they roll out 5G networks, starting with Non-Stand-Alone (NSA) 5G, which utilizes the 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) to deliver 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), with plans to upgrade NSA networks to Stand-Alone (SA), which will enable the full suite of 5G capabilities—including Ultra Reliable Low Latency (URLLC) and massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC).

However, Singapore Mobile Network Operator (MNO) Singtel, which owns Optus in Australia, is taking a different approach. While Singtel does operate 5G NSA networks with limited coverage, it is opting to directly build and deploy SA networks rather than extensively roll out 5G NSA and eventually upgrade it. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore has authorized the country’s 3 MNOs (Singtel, M1, and Starhub) to build 2 SA 5G networks by 202…

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