Singapore

M1, Nokia to build Singapore NB-IoT network and roll out first commercial HetNet

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M1 Limited, one of the three major telcos operating in Singapore, and Nokia announced Singapore’s first commercial HetNet (Heterogeneous Network) rollout, following trials over the last year.

HetNet, the integration of large and small cells with different wireless radio technologies such as cellular and WiFi, will enable M1 to provide the best coverage and network capacity to meet the growing demand to surf at high speeds.

As part of its HetNet deployment, M1 will progressively roll out an overlay of integrated Nokia’s award-winning Flexi Zone small cells and WiFi equipment across hundreds of high-traffic hotspots nationwide, to complement its advanced 4G+ network. Through leading edge LTE-WiFi Aggregation (LWA) technology, M1 expects to deliver peak download speeds of more than 1Gbps by 2017.

Deployment sites will include MRT/LRT stations, malls and popular outdoor areas such as Marina Bay and Clarke Quay. Additionally, the small cells’ compact footprint will allow M1 to deploy them at hard-to-reach areas such as car parks, basements and parks.

The rollout follows M1’s successful trials earlier in the year at the Paragon mall, the Orchard and Raffles Place MRT stations, as well as at multiple locations in Jurong East as part of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) HetNet trials.

M1’s trial, utilising both indoor and outdoor small cells, saw customers experience up to 60% improvement in download speeds, and also demonstrated the effectiveness of utilising both macro and small cells in managing network traffic.

The results from our HetNet technology trials were positive. 90% of users enjoyed a better mobile experience, with faster download and upload speeds. We are pleased that the trials have given our partners such as M1 useful insights and confidence to further enhance the mobile experience through commercial HetNet deployment.

said Mr Gabriel Lim, Chief Executive-Designate, Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA).

Ms Karen Kooi, Chief Executive Officer, M1 explained that this deployment is an integral part of their 5G network roadmap, the infrastructure on which they aim to build an ubiquitous on-demand, high-performance 5G service.

The boost for IoT Ecosystem of Singapore

M1 along with Nokia would to roll out a nationwide commercial NB-IoT (narrowband Internet of Things) network by 1H2017. The NB-IoT standards were finalised by the GSMA Standards body 3GPP in June 2016. When completed, the deployment – Nokia’s first large-scale deployment with an operator partner in Asia – is expected to be amongst the world’s first commercial NB-IoT deployments.

NB-IoT networks and devices are designed to deliver improved network performance for M2M (machine-to-machine) communications – low-bandwidth, robust indoor penetration and low power consumption, while delivering the benefits of licensed spectrum such as network reliability and security. Commercial NB-IoT devices are expected to be available by mid-2017.

Nokia’s joint collaboration of NB-IoT deployment with M1 lays an important groundwork for further application of LTE-based IoT services. We will continue to work with our customers and make R&D efforts for innovative technologies in enabling IoT connectivity.

said Mr Sandeep Girotra, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan, Nokia.

IMAGE CREDIT: INSING

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