IMDA to Make Available New 5G Spectrum Bands to All Mobile Network Operators

Last updated: 26 July 2021

Published on: 26 July 2021

SINGAPORE – 26 Jul 2021: To support the next wave of 5G growth, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is seeking views from the public and industry on the potential use and allocation of the 2.1 GHz spectrum band for 5G in Singapore. The band is currently used for 3G services and will expire at the end of 2021. IMDA proposes to use the 2.1 GHz spectrum band to support the nationwide deployment of 5G Standalone[1] (SA) networks, while allowing flexibility for 3G services to continue.

As Singapore continues to forge ahead with our nationwide 5G rollout[2], the availability of the 2.1 GHz spectrum will help provide opportunities for growth for all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). The new spectrum can be used to complement existing 5G networks deployed, using the first tranche of 5G Call For Proposal (CFP) spectrum[3], to enhance coverage and capacity, as well as the potential for deployment of an additional nationwide 5G SA network.  

IMDA Public Consultation on Policy Issues & Proposed Regulatory Design for 2.1 GHz

The 2.1 GHz spectrum band has good propagation characteristics, making it suitable for wide-area coverage for 5G[4].

IMDA proposes to allocate the 2.1 GHz band for 5G networks based on SA network specifications, in line with IMDA’s key 5G policy objectives to:

  1. Maximise value of 5G for the economy and welfare for the consumers;
  2. Facilitate efficient allocation of scarce spectrum resources;
  3. Bring about 5G networks that are secure and resilient; and
  4. Support the growth of Singapore’s telecommunications sector.

IMDA intends to allocate the new spectrum via auction, open to all existing MNOs if the MNOs wish to participate.  Through the market-based approach, bidders will get the flexibility to decide how much spectrum they require. All 2.1 GHz spectrum right holders must meet baseline regulatory requirements, consistent with the requirements on holders of the first tranche of 5G spectrum allocated through IMDA’s 5G CFP held in 2020. IMDA intends to hold the auction towards the end of 2021. As part of the auction design, IMDA intends to set aside some 2.1 GHz spectrum for the continued provision of 3G services in Singapore, for consumers who choose to continue to use these services.

IMDA invites views and comments

For more information on the public consultation, please click here. The public consultation closes 12 noon, 16 August 2021.

[1] 5G SA networks can deliver the full capabilities and performance of 5G such as network virtualisation, intelligence at network edges, and dynamic provisioning of differentiated services for different use-cases. The two nationwide 5G networks are supplemented with localised mmWave deployments that provide high capacity 5G hotspots.

[2] Singapore will have two nationwide networks with full-fledged 5G SA capabilities with at least 50% coverage by end-2022.

[3]The CFP Final Awardees were issued 100 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum each for nationwide deployment.

[4] The 2.1 GHz band is increasingly used for 5G deployment internationally in jurisdictions such as Germany, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.


ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (IMDA)


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, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

For media clarifications, please contact:

TAN Yan Fang (Ms)

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