4G networks must cover at least 95 per cent of all outdoor areas from July: IDA

Mobile phone users in Singapore will soon be able to enjoy a better level of experience as they surf the Net while out and about.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced on Wednesday (June 1) the new 4G Quality of Service (QoS) standards to "enhance users' experience" while online.

These new standards are imposed on the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who are providing 4G services in the country.

In a statement, IDA said MNOs are required to cover 95 per cent of outdoor areas from July 1 and will increase it to at least 99 per cent from July 1, 2017. IDA will also impose similar standards on the fourth new MNO, if any, who will be provided with more lead-time to roll out its network to meet the standards.

It added that the move to implement standards to better protect consumers' interests is "timely" because 4G enabled phones have become more common and more than half of the total mobile users in Singapore are turning to 4G networks for faster connectivity to meet their usage needs.

More than 75 per cent of households are subscribed on the Nationwide Broadband Network, IDA said.

The 4G QoS standards issued by IDA applies to mobile coverage in Singapore, including outdoor areas, tunnels and within building premises.

The new standards are similar to the 3G QoS standards that were enhanced in 2012. IDA said it will concurrently impose both sets of QoS standards on the MNOs and also gather feedback from the public regarding the quality of experience when using mobile broadband.

As of February this year, IDA said there are approximately 4.2 million mobile users who have subscribed to 4G services.