Singapore lowers regulatory barrier for 5G trials

Waives off the frequency fees for 5G trials to encourage more companies to experiment with the technology.

By Nurdianah Md Nur
May 23, 2017

Singapore has waived the frequency fees for 5G trials with immediate effect.

 The republic aims to encourage more companies to explore the benefits and applications of 5G networks by lowering regulatory barriers.

"[This move will enable] businesses to leverage high-speed networks, real-time communications, and high-accuracy location positioning to better deliver their services... [which will] further fuel [Singapore's] digital economy," said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange event earlier today (23 May 2017).

According to the republic's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), trials conducted in the real-world environment will also assist the industry in better understanding how 5G will operate in Singapore's business environment and its optimum deployment scenarios.  

Companies interested in conducting the 5G trials may utilise the existing IMDA's Technical Trial and Market Trial framework.


Other efforts to promote 5G

IMDA expects the spectrum demand to increase substantially as more Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices are being adopted for both business and consumer use. It has thus identified several spectrum bands that may be suitable for 5G deployments in Singapore (below).

Singapore identifies spectrum bands that may be suitable for 5g

According to IMDA, the mobile industry has begun exploring technologies that enable spectrum to be aggregated across both the licensed and licence-exempt bands to increase mobile data speeds and overall network capacity. IMDA is therefore considering developing regulations to support the deployment of technologies while ensuring that the deployment of technologies such as Wi-Fi can continue in licence-exempt spectrum bands in Singapore.

"To ensure that the [above] plans will address the industry's needs, IMDA will be conducting industry consultations," shared Minister Yaacob.  From now till 7 July, IMDA will be accepting "feedback and ideas [from the public] on 5G spectrum requirements and regulatory provision and on how policies can move in tandem with technology and industry's needs", he added.