Early Benefits for Consumers with Partial 5G Capabilities

Last updated: 17 August 2020

Published on: 17 August 2020

IMDA supports interim deployment riding on 4G infrastructure to offer faster data speeds, ahead of nationwide rollout of 5G standalone networks

SINGAPORE – 17 August, 2020 - The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) 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 faster mobile speeds as a key feature.

Singapore remains on track to deploy two nationwide 5G standalone (SA) networks by 2025, with 5G SA capabilities1 covering at least half of Singapore by end-2022. In the interim, MNOs have indicated an interest in using Non-Standalone (NSA) networks2 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. Meanwhile, IMDA will work closely with MNOs to develop a regulatory framework that ensures a smooth transition from NSA to the eventual SA networks.

When ready by 2025, 5G SA networks will support the growth of a thriving innovation ecosystem that fuels the creation of a diverse range of 5G applications and use-cases across various industries, including remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, and cloud gaming. With a vibrant 5G ecosystem in place, Singapore can build a strong Digital Economy for the future, and reinforce our position as a leading business and connectivity hub in the region and beyond.

Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA, said “We have made good progress on our journey to roll out the future-ready full-fledged 5G SA networks critical to maintaining Singapore’s competitive edge. We welcome, and are supportive of our operators’ interest to make incremental investment in the meantime and leverage 5G NSA technology to offer their customers some early 5G benefits such as faster mobile broadband experience while they build their SA network. These 5G NSA capabilities will also enable them to work with industry to develop early innovative business use cases to meet early demand.”

[1]5G SA networks are completely independent of 4G networks, and can deliver a full suite of 5G capabilities including network slicing to support different use-case requirements, significant improvement in speeds, as well as ultra-reliable and low latency communications.

[2]5G NSA networks are built over existing 4G networks. Its features are limited to faster speeds, instead of the full suite of 5G capabilities that SA networks can deliver.


About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visitwww.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

For media clarifications, please contact:

TAN Yan Fang (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6751 2703
Email: TAN_Yan_Fang@imda.gov.sg

CHUA Hian Hou (Mr)
Deputy Director, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6202 4956
Email: chua_hian_hou@imda.gov.sg