Singtel began issuing standalone (SA) 5G-compatible SIM cards to customers as it prepares for the commercial launch of the network after deploying hundreds of sites running on 3.5GHz spectrum

Anna Yip, consumer Singapore CEO, stated Singtel’s engineers are working with “key handset manufacturers to complete testing and prepare” the SA “network for commercial launch”.

The SA SIMs “future-proof and enhance” subscriber’s “mobile experience”, Yip explained.

Singtel plans to intensify the rollout in the coming months as smartphone makers release SA 5G software updates for existing devices and launch more compatible models. It also will progressively expand in-building coverage.

The company stated it upgraded its 5G RAN with “advanced radio technologies to connect to a cloud-native SA” core, “enabling it to run 5G independently”. It added the “network will soon offer network slicing capabilities”.

Singtel launched its non-standalone 5G network in selected areas of the city state on 1 September 2020.

Rivals StarHub and M1 also are scheduled to launch SA 5G services in 2021.