Imagine downloading a two-hour movie in a few seconds, rather than a few minutes, thanks to 10-20 Gbps speeds. Or connecting 1,000 times more devices to a network, with no spotty service in crowded areas. Or even a mobile network with reduced latency latency Latency Latency is the time it takes for a device to make a request from a server and get a response. , which, combined with higher speeds, is perfect for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications.
Singtel, StarHub, and the high price of Singapore’s 5G push
Singapore has asked its telcos to provide countrywide 5G coverage by 2025. Already hurting from lockdowns, the telcos find themselves in a bind, facing huge upfront capital expenditure—S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) each, by one estimate
A 5G network can provide speeds of 10-20 Gbps, at least 10 times faster than peak 4G speeds
Public telcos Singtel and StarHub have already launched 5G trials, but keeping up with regulator IMDA’s targets won’t be easy
Singtel’s ARPU fell from S$40 to S$29 year-on-year in the April-June 2020 quarter, while StarHub’s dropped from S$40 to S$30
Cutting dividends will not please the telcos’ investors, while delaying the 5G rollout is not an option either