Singapore set the timeline for the rollout of at least two nationwide 5G networks in 2020, with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launching a public consultation asking mobile operators for input on appropriate regulatory frameworks and policies.

The consultation, which opened yesterday (7 May), is seeking operators’ views in three areas: allocating 5G spectrum; baseline regulatory requirements for the companies awarded the spectrum; and building the broader ecosystem. It will close on 19 June 2019.

Tan Kiat How, chief executive at IMDA, said the consultation is an important step in its plans to launch networks and develop a vibrant ecosystem: “These insights will guide our regulatory approach and industry development efforts in ensuring Singapore’s connectivity infrastructure remains globally competitive in support of our digital economy ambitions.”

Instead of holding an auction, IMDA will assign 5G spectrum through a call for proposal regulatory process (to be issued later this year), requiring interested parties to submit detailed proposals on their nationwide deployment plans. It will assess the proposals based on factors spanning the ability to meet baseline regulatory requirements, to the proposer’s financial capability.

It will award spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 26GHz to 28GHz bands in its initial allocation, which it suggests will be sufficient for at least two nationwide 5G networks.

IMDA said it also will continue to waive frequency fees for operators conducting technical and/or commercial 5G trials.