Remember when everyone used to chase the 5Cs?
The famed Cash, Car, Credit card, Condominium and Country club membership dream that was the Singaporean dream before The Singaporean Dream?
It now appears that there’s another hallowed 5s that everyone is chasing.
And by that, I mean every government wishing to attain 5G.
If you still aren’t sure what it means, 5G is defined by Wikipedia as the short for a “commonly used term for certain advanced wireless systems.”
In other words, your radio/phone waves.
Or your “data” on whatever telco that you may be using.
Singapore To Introduce First 5G Networks Next Year
According to AsiaOne, Singapore is looking to roll out at least two 5G networks in the coming year.
This timeline places Singapore at the forefront of this cutting-edge technology that is envisioned to power the next wave of commercial applications such as driver-less cars and Augmented Reality (AR).
As 5G does not utilize existing 4G infrastructure, the “Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has called for interested telcos to submit detailed proposals on their deployment plans, with the intention to assign 5G airwaves to two winning submissions” according to the report.
This will be done through a regulatory process known as Call For Proposal (CFP).
Simply put, our 4G won’t be affected as 5G rains on us, since they’re using different hardware altogether.
And lest you’re not aware, 5G is 20 times faster than 4G. I bet you can stream Netflix in 4K and still upload a 4K video to YouTube without any lag.
Chief among the criteria of selection is the proposer’s ability to meet regulatory requirements deadlines.
They include the telco’s commitment and ability towards achieving 50 per cent 5G network coverage islandwide by 2023, and a “willingness to sell network services to other mobile operators not issued with the airwaves.”
Basically, like Singtel winning exclusive rights for the Premier League and selling it to StarHub while scaling back the number of channels available for cross-carriage consumers.
Cutthroat I say…
The financial capability, or should I say, stability, is also a key benchmark in which the evaluation will be made.
Particularly so after the juice ran dry on Red Dot Power just after the energy market opened up.
IMDA also announced about a public consultation which will last until 19 June 2019 to attain feedback on the CFP.
The consultation seeks to understand the public’s view on the “airwave assignment approach and the annual fees to be paid for using the 5G airwaves.”
Basically, money matters.
The Huawei Problem
If you’ve been reading the news, you’d know this: Huawei hasn’t exactly been BFF with the US and the UK due to alleged espionage and security claims against the firm, which is widely regarded to have links with the Chinese government.
When asked if Huawei will be blocked from taking part in the CFP, IMDA said: “Singapore encourages vendor diversity in our telecommunication systems to mitigate risks from dependency on any one vendor.”
“Operators should ensure that the performance and reliability of equipment purchased from vendors meet their commercial operational needs and regulatory requirements, including those pertaining to the quality of service, resilience and security.”
Which more or less means it’s up to anyone’s guess at this point.
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