M1, Nokia to roll out NB-IoT in Singapore

  • Nationwide roll out of NB-IoT by 1H 2017
  • Nokia’s first large-scale deployment with an operator partner in Asia
M1, Nokia to roll out NB-IoT in Singapore

M1 LIMITED (M1) and Nokia on Aug 19 announced a strategic partnership to roll out a nationwide commercial NB-IoT (narrowband Internet of Things) network by 1H 2017.

The NB-IoT standards were finalised by the GSMA Standards body 3GPP in June 2016.

When completed, the deployment – Nokia’s first large-scale deployment with an operator partner in Asia – is expected to be among the world’s first commercial NB-IoT deployments.

NB-IoT networks and devices are designed to deliver improved network performance for M2M (machine-to-machine) communications – low-bandwidth, robust indoor penetration and low power consumption, while delivering the benefits of licensed spectrum such as network reliability and security.

Commercial NB-IoT devices are expected to be available by mid-2017.

M1 and Nokia also announced Singapore’s first commercial HetNet (Heterogeneous Network) rollout.

Customer demand for data continues to grow, driven by faster networks and high-bandwidth mobile applications such as video streaming, social media and online gaming.

HetNet, the integration of large and small cells with different wireless radio technologies such as cellular and WiFi, will enable M1 to provide coverage and network capacity to meet this demand.

As part of its HetNet deployment, M1 will progressively roll out an overlay of integrated Nokia’s Flexi Zone small cells and WiFi equipment across high-traffic hotspots nationwide, to complement its 4G+ network.

Through LTE-WiFi Aggregation (LWA) technology, M1 expects to deliver peak download speeds of more than 1Gbps by 2017.

Deployment sites will include MRT/LRT stations, malls and popular outdoor areas such as Marina Bay and Clarke Quay.

The small cells’ compact footprint will allow M1 to deploy them at hard-to-reach areas such as car parks, basements and parks.

The rollout follows M1’s trials earlier in the year at the Paragon mall, the Orchard and Raffles Place MRT stations, as well as at multiple locations in Jurong East as part of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) HetNet trials.

M1’s trial, utilising both indoor and outdoor small cells, saw customers experience up to 60% improvement in download speeds, and also demonstrated the effectiveness of utilising both macro and small cells in managing network traffic.
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