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4G Service Monitoring by IMDA

4G Services in Singapore

With the high adoption of mobile services and the proliferation of mobile devices, the public’s expectation of the quality of mobile services has increased. The mobile operators started providing 4G services in 2012, and subscriptions for 4G services have been growing at a rapid pace.

4G service coverage is an important factor in meeting the public's expectations for mobile services. In line with this, IMDA helps measure the 4G service coverage performance to ensure that mobile service providers are meeting the required standards for their customers.

4G Monitoring Exercise

In June 2013, SingTel Mobile, M1 and StarHub Mobile successfully bid for the 4G spectrum rights in the 2.5GHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands, which took effect on 1 July 2015 and 1 April 2017 respectively.  As a condition of the allocation of 4G spectrum rights, the three mobile operators are required to provide nationwide 4G outdoor service coverage by 30 June 2016, and within road and MRT tunnels by 30 June 2018.

With pervasive adoption of 4G services, consumers have increasingly higher expectations of good quality of service for 4G services. IMDA has started to monitor the three mobile operators’ 4G service performance in Q4 2014 to increase transparency of mobile operators’ 4G service coverage performance and hence consumers’ awareness of the quality of the 4G services.

As TPG Telecom, the new mobile operator, is in the midst of rolling out its 4G network, TPG Telecom will have to progressively comply with the relevant indicators in the 4G QoS framework starting with the nation-wide outdoor service coverage indicator from 1 January 2019 onwards.

What is Measured?

IMDA measures the 4G service coverage performance of the three mobile operators. The 4G measurement surveys are conducted every quarter and the performance results are published on IMDA’s website. Specifically, the 4G service coverage at the following areas is measured:

  • Nationwide Outdoor Areas*
  • Road and MRT Tunnels
  • Inside Buildings

The test routes in the outdoor areas include all major and small roads and expressways, including parks and open spaces that are reasonably accessible by foot or vehicle.

Mobile handsets are used to collect the signal strength sample readings for all service coverage indicators.

* With effect from 1 July 2016, the three mobile operators are required to comply with the Quality of Service (“QoS”) standard for 4G services for the Nationwide Outdoor Areas. Get insights on the three mobile operators’ service coverage performance from the 4G Quality of Service reports.

Note: For road and MRT tunnels, the 4G service coverage measurement survey is conducted at road and/or MRT tunnels for a mobile operator only when the operator has completed the 4G deployment at the point of measurement. 

4G Measurement Survey Results


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