The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) released a consultation paper on 5G mobile services and networks dated 7 May 2019 (the Paper) and has opened a second public consultation inviting views on various key areas until 9 July 2019. This article will focus on the Paper’s proposed regulatory policy and framework for 5G deployment in Singapore.
The deployment of 5G networks in Singapore proposes to meet the following key policy objectives:
To achieve these objectives, IMDA proposes to adopt the following strategies:
By 2021, IMDA plans to free up and allocate spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band (i.e., 3.4-3.7 GHz) for 5G coverage. Affected fixed satellite service (FSS) (downlink) services in this band will be migrated to the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. However, to protect FSS (downlink) services above 3.7 GHz, IMDA proposes to implement a guard band within 3.6-3.7 GHz whilst technical trials are being conducted to determine the recommended technical and operational parameters of 5G usage in the 3.5 GHz band.
IMDA has also identified mmWave bands such as the 26 GHz band (i.e., 24.25-27.5 GHz) and 28 GHz band (i.e., 27.5-29.5 GHz) which are planned for providing ultra-high speed connectivity in localised hotspots from approximately 2020 onwards. IMDA recognises that existing FSS (uplink) services in the 28 GHz band may coexist with 5G services through coordination of technical parameters. Because of this, 5G services and FSS will operate in the 28.5-29.5 GHz band on a co-primary basis.
Once the global ecosystem is more ready for cost-efficient deployment, IMDA may then open up other spectrum bands progressively, estimated to be available from 2025 onwards.
A spectrum right duration of 12 to 15 years is proposed to provide sufficient investment certainty, while catering for technological changes and new 5G spectrum bands.
IMDA proposes to impose key obligations and baseline regulatory requirements for: