StarHub, Nokia Support 5G Rollout

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StarHub and Nokia are to deploy a cloud-native core network for standalone (SA) 5G services scheduled for launch this year, giving the Finnish vendor a second key core contract in the city state since the start of 2021.

In a joint statement, the companies said the SA network rollout is underway and covers core, radio, software, security and professional services, noting the upgrade to SA will enable StarHub to run 5G services independent of existing 4G network technology.

The operator previously chose Nokia to provide the 5G RAN as part of a joint venture with M1 to construct a nationwide SA network.

StarHub commenced a non-standalone 5G trial using the 2.1GHz band in August 2020.

StarHub CTO Chong Siew Loong said strong demand for compatible phones and tariffs are “encouraging signs of the market’s appetite for 5G services, which are going mainstream in terms of deployment and adoption this year”.

“Nokia fuelled an important transition for our networks, bringing us into the 5G era, enabling new use cases and services, such as network slicing.”

In mid-January, M1 selected Nokia’s cloud-native core software for its SA network, also scheduled for launch in 2021.

Meanwhile, rival Singtel announced on February 2, 2021 that its enterprise customers would be able to use Microsoft Azure Stack running on its 5G multi-access edge computing (MEC) infrastructure to process applications.