StarHub claimed a milestone in Singapore, turning on the city state’s first commercial gigabit LTE network.
The operator said network upgrades will increase peak speeds for mobile users from 400Mb/s to 1Gb/s on compatible phones, including Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, P20 and P20 Pro; Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus; and Sony’s Xperia XZ2.
Working alongside Nokia, StarHub initially deployed the gigabit network in select areas, including Marina Bay; the Central Business District; shopping and transport hubs; and around half a dozen neighbourhoods. But the operator said it plans to expand gigabit service in other high-traffic areas based on network insights.
Along with higher speeds, StarHub noted the network updates also enable NB-IoT, which it said can be used to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
The upgrades follow StarHub’s purchase of additional 4G spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2.5GHz bands in 2017.
Rival Singtel is also pushing toward gigabit speeds in the country. In February, the operator achieved peak speeds of 1Gb/s in a trial using Ericsson’s quad-band FDD/TD carrier aggregation technology.
Singtel said it plans “progressively roll out” the technology in key high-traffic areas using its newly acquired 2.5GHz spectrum. The operator added handsets capable of supporting quad-band FDD/TD carrier aggregation are expected to become available in the second half of this year.