Singapore Plans to Roll Out 5G Networks by 2020

Mar 2019

Singapore plans to commence the roll out of 5th generation mobile networks (5G) by 2020.  With 5G, businesses and citizens can experience peak data rates of up to 100 times faster than 4G – with up to 25 times lower latency and the ability to support up to 1000 times more devices per square kilometer.  5G is expected to fundamentally transform how businesses operate, in view of its capacity to handle many high-demand applications simultaneously such as the connectivity of autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, the deployment of IoT and nationwide sensor networks. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (MDA) will launch a public consultation to help develop the right regulatory framework and policies for 5G including the allocation of spectrum.

The announcement regarding 5G was made by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Committee of Supply (COS) Debate on 4 March 2019. In his remarks, Minister Iswaran also revealed that the Singapore Government is going to allocate a further SGD 300 million (USD 220 million) for research in the Services and Digital Economy domain, almost doubling it from the current budget.  This increase is part of the next phase of the National Research Foundation’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan (RIE 2020) plan.

Minister Iswaran said that Digital Services Labs will be established to unlock value from R&D investments. This program will work with technology providers, research and industry partners to co-develop cutting-edge technology to address business challenges.

The government is reviewing the Electronic Transactions Act to cater for new business models, new technologies and national projects. It is also reviewing our Personal Data Protection Act (or PDPA) so that it continues to safeguard consumer interests while enabling the innovative use of data.  

(Source: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

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