Singtel boosts mobile broadband speeds to 450Mbps with 4G upgrade

January 12th, 2017 | by Alfred Siew
Singtel boosts mobile broadband speeds to 450Mbps with 4G upgrade

Singtel logo outside a Singtel retail shop in Singapore. PHOTO: Wilson Wong for Techgoondu

Singtel is boosting its mobile broadband speeds to 450Mbps, up from the current 300Mbps, with the nationwide deployment of a 4G network upgrade in Singapore.

The new speeds, essentially the peak speeds available to users, are possible with the new LTE-Advanced technology that only a handful of phones support now.

Folks using the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge would immediately be able to get on the fast lane, said the telecom operator yesterday.

Those using LG’s recently-launched V20 phone will be able to download at 450Mbps as well, but only after a software update out in the months ahead.

The speed boost, available to Singtel 4G customers at no additional charge, means that users can download a full length HD movie in less than two minutes.

Whether they will spend so much of their free data bundle to download a movie running into the gigabytes is another matter. What may be clearer is a speed race that is once again brewing among the island’s telcos.

Unveiling its new offering yesterday, Singtel said it was taking a step towards a much faster 5G service in the years ahead. Closer to that, by the end of this year, it expects to roll out 1Gbps 4G services at high-traffic locations.

It had tested them out at two sites in Pasir Ris. This is with new network and antenna technologies, such as 4 x 4 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) that doubles the number of data paths between a cellular base station and mobile phones.

The two other telcos – StarHub and M1 – both expect to deploy similar 1Gbps services this year, according to The Straits Times.

While users usually value reliability and coverage over peak speeds they hardly get because of the limitations of radio signals in an urban area, telcos are often keen to win the speed crown for the prestige it brings.

In 2012, for example, M1 won the race to be the first to offer nationwide 4G coverage. In August last year, it also said it would boost speeds to 1Gbps through its HetNet deployment.

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