LOCAL telcos are gearing up for the next wave of speedier mobile handsets by readying their high-speed networks for extensive coverage across the nation.
Telco Singtel confirmed yesterday that it will offer nationwide coverage of the next-generation 4G network, known as Long Term Evolution- Advanced (LTE-A) or 4G+, next month.
LTE-A is an upgrade to existing LTE, or 4G, networks, which doubles the maximum network speed.
This makes Singtel the second telco to offer such extensive coverage after M1, which rolled out the high-speed network nationwide last December.
An M1 spokesman said the 4G+ network has been available in more than 95 per cent of outdoor areas and most indoor areas since last December.
Singtel's coverage will also extend to at least 95 per cent of outdoor areas.
A Singtel spokesman said the telco has a very strict definition of what coverage means.
"When we measure during testing, there must be a minimum of three signal bars at street level for it to count," he said.
According to Singtel, users on their LTE-A network can reach typical download speeds of 20 to 140 megabits per second (Mbps), compared with the 16 to 70Mbps on a regular LTE network.
This means, for example, users can stream videos in half the time while on a LTE-A network compared to a LTE network.
StarHub is also on track to offer faster network speeds for its customers.
A StarHub spokesman said the telco will achieve nationwide LTE-A coverage in the third quarter of this year.
Currently, only four Samsung smartphone models available here support LTE-A, which has a maximum download speed of 300Mbps.
More LTE-A-compatible devices are expected to be rolled out in the second half of the year.
This article was first published on Feb 11, 2015.
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