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Singtel, Nokia to trial 5G network capabilities

SINGTEL and Nokia will work together to develop and trial 5G network slicing capabilities that could provide customers with customisable services in areas including cloud gaming, manufacturing and maritime operations.

Network slicing is a 5G feature where multiple virtual networks can be created atop one physical network, both telcos said in a joint statement on Monday. 

The network as a service platform is enabled by Nokia's operations suite and cloud management products, which automate the creation and delivery of digital services. 

This will give Singtel "greater control and visibility of services across the network, while addressing specific 5G needs of enterprises with speed, efficiency and flexibility", the companies said. 

For instance, Singtel will be able to offer an enterprise customer a secured network slice on demand within minutes, as opposed to the weeks or months which it currently takes, Singtel and Nokia noted. 

Added Mark Chong, group chief technology officer at Singtel: "Network slicing will open up a realm of exciting possibilities for our enterprise customers to go to market quicker with new and innovative 5G-powered services, such as virtual reality, IoT (Internet of Things) and smart factory applications."

The 5G network slicing trials will be conducted and tested with organisations later this year in Singapore. 

Last month, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced that the bidding for 5G network licences had closed with three submissions received

At the close of the 5G call for proposal, one bid each was received from Singtel and TPG Telecom, along with a joint submission from StarHub and M1.

IMDA is currently evaluating the submissions, and expects to award the spectrum by mid-2020. The telecom regulator will select two network operators to deploy two nationwide public 5G networks.

As at 10.54am on Monday, Singtel shares were trading at S$3.01, up S$0.01 or 0.3 per cent.