Frequency fees waived for telcos testing out 5G services in Singapore

May 23rd, 2017 | by Alfred Siew

Telecom operators testing out new 5G services in Singapore will have frequency fees waived until December 2019, as the country seeks to advance the new mobile technology.

Announcing this today, Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said the move would lower regulatory barriers and encourage more trials in the industry.

The authorities are also seeking the public’s views on the use of the airwaves for the next-generation mobile technology with a set of consultations kicking off today, he added at the opening of this year’s imbX industry event.

Though still in its infancy, 5G services promise more bandwidth and lower latency for new services that are not possible with 4G today.

For example, fast downloads on the move may top 1Gbps, similar to what users enjoy on fibre broadband at home today. Plus, lower latency of less than 1 millisecond means less lag for, say, remotely controlling equipment and vehicles.

Without the waiver, telcos would have had to pay frequency fees of $11,200 a year, according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). 

It also said today it has identified potential spectrum bands for 5G deployments in Singapore. It is seeking feedback on the bands it is considering, which include three categories – one below 1GHz, two between 1GHz and 6GHz and seven bands above 6GHz.

The consultation period is between May 23 and July 7.

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