Singapore to have commercial LTE available in Q1 2012

M1 SingaporeSingapore’s third largest mobile operator M1 announced last week that they will be deploying the first commercial LTE (Long Term Evolution) network of South-east Asia.

LTE is the latest standard in the mobile network technology and often marketed as 4th Generation (or 4G). Although it doesn’t comply absolutely with IMT 4G requirements, it provides a notable improvement of download and upload speeds over 3G technology, peaking at 100Mbps for downlink and 20Mps for uplink.

M1’s chief technical officer Patrick Scodeller said the company will start installing base stations in about 1,400 locations across the island sometime in October this year. The full work should be completed by Q1 2011.

The deployment of the network has been granted to the Chinese giant Huawei. They will provide the core network infrastructure, with a five-year deal worth S$280m (US$225.4). This will include installation of macro base stations, distributed base stations and Evolved Packet Core (EPC).

With the constant growth of mobile device usage and cloud-based applications, reliable access to high-speed mobile internet connections are becoming critical for private users as well as businesses. LTE offers both, but what will decide of its success will be the pricing of the services.

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