StarHub joins rivals in boosting 4G speeds

StarHub joins rivals in boosting 4G speeds

StarHub has joined rival telcos SingTel and M1 in upgrading its 4G network as the market prepares for a faster, new breed of smartphones.

The upgraded 4G networks allow consumers to take full advantage of advanced devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and Note 4, which are expected to be on sale in the next few months. They are said to be capable of surfing at up to 300Mbps - twice as fast as current speeds.

The iPhone 6, to be launched today, is also rumoured to be able to support surfing of up to 300Mbps.

It will mean consumers can expect little or no lag in streaming videos, even in high definition. They can also expect to download smartphone apps in just seconds instead of minutes.

StarHub, whichdoubled its 4G network speed to 150Mbps at selected locations in July, said work is under way to "accelerate" the speed boost to 300Mbps. Its upgraded 4G network will cover the Central Business District and Orchard Road by the end of the year, and the whole of Singapore by the end of next year.

Mr Chan Kin Hung, StarHub's senior vice-president of mobility, said: "We are upgrading our 4G network to cater to the availability of a wider range of (advanced) phones next year."

SingTel and M1, meanwhile, are ahead of the game.

The former now has more than half of the island covered with 4G links of up to 300Mbps. Islandwide coverage is expected by the first quarter of next year.

Its upgraded network was launched commercially last month when the first advanced phones - the Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ - went on sale here. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha 4G+ will go on sale later this month.

Typical download speeds on SingTel's new 4G network range from 20Mbps to 140Mbps - double those on the older 4G network.

Meanwhile, M1's upgraded 4G network now covers more than half of the island. Nationwide coverage will be completed by the year end.

Senior analyst Clement Teo from United States-based market research firm Forrester said newer 4G technologies will help telcos to pack more data in a given amount of airwaves.

This article was first published on September 9, 2014.
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