Journey to 5G: Singtel Partners Ericsson to pilot Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN in network evolution towards 5G

Key 5G technologies will increase network capacity and coverage to offer Gigabit speeds

Singtel and Ericsson are working together to trial Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN on Singtel’s 4G LTE network. Both technologies are key components in the evolution to 5G and will enable Singtel to expand its mobile network capacity and offer faster speeds by the end of the year.

Video traffic represents more than half of mobile traffic today and is set to increase further with the adoption of video applications such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and 360-degree video, imposing high demands on the network today. This is why networks need to evolve to gradually achieve the ultra-high bandwidth, massive connectivity and low latency promised with 5G.

Massive MIMO is a key technology towards achieving Gigabit LTE speeds. Massive MIMO combines MIMO with beamforming on advanced antennas to improve both the user experience as well as the capacity and coverage of the mobile network. Ericsson AIR 6468 radio, providing 64T64R Massive MIMO capabilities, will be tested and progressively deployed.

Both companies will also embark on a joint trial of Cloud RAN which will provide Singtel with the flexibility to centralize, distribute, scale and virtualize radio access network functions to efficiently meet performance requirements today and on the road to 5G.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, says: “Data traffic is on the rise and will increase exponentially with 4K video, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality services on the horizon. We are investing ahead to ensure that our networks have the capacity and speeds that will offer our customers the best mobile data experience in Singapore.”

Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, says: “This collaboration with Singtel provides a unique opportunity to evolve the 4G network for a smooth transition to a successful 5G implementation.”

Ericsson and Singtel first signed a 5G Memorandum of Understanding in January 2015 and were the first to showcase a 5G system in Southeast Asia in August 2016, achieving a downlink speed of 27.5 Gbps. Singtel offers Singapore’s widest mobile coverage and fastest mobile data speeds at 450Mbps.

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About Singtel

Singtel is Asia's leading communications group providing a portfolio of services including voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms as well as infocomm technology and pay TV. The Group has presence in Asia, Australia and Africa with 640 million mobile customers in 22 countries, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. It also has a vast network of offices throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States.

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