All 3 telcos achieve islandwide 4G coverage ahead of schedule; Singtel in the lead

SINGAPORE - Singtel is in the lead in covering most of Singapore with 4G signals, followed by M1 and StarHub, according to the first official study on 4G coverage by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

According to the study, measured in the last quarter of 2014, Singtel achieved 99.41 per cent outdoor coverage nationwide, while M1 and StarHub reached 99.04 per cent and 98.95 per cent respectively.

The results show that significant nationwide outdoor street level coverage has been achieved 18 months ahead of the June 2016 timeline, according to a statement from IDA. The Straits Times reported that while no benchmark has been set for islandwide 4G coverage yet, standards will likely take reference from current 3G requirements, which stipulate at least 99 per cent islandwide outdoor coverage.

IDA's survey also showed that the rollout for 4G service coverage in underground road/train tunnels can be improved: StarHub rolled out its network to provide coverage for most of the road and train tunnels, while M1 and Singtel have provided coverage for two and four road/train tunnels respectively.

Mr Leong Keng Thai, IDA's Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms & Post), noted the progress of the 4G implementation in underground tunnels. He said, "Singapore has a high mobile penetration rate, and the 4G subscription rates are increasing every month. Consumers enjoy these higher speed connections, and expect these services to be widely and readily available throughout the country. These published results will help consumers make informed choices as they sign up or renew their mobile service plans."

Mobile network operators are required to provide nationwide coverage for road and underground tunnels by 30 June 2018. IDA is also studying the standards that may be set for the 4G Quality of Service Standard framework for compliance purpose.