SingTel on Tuesday announced the launch of their commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband, which is touted as the successor to the current 3G networks.
It allows customers to surf webpages and stream high-definition videos at theoretical speeds of up to 75Mbps, about three times faster than the current 21Mbps speeds on 3G networks. As for typical speeds, the 4G network can hit up to 12Mbps. The new LTE technology is also reportedly able to handle more users.
This is believed to be the first LTE service in Singapore to be made available for consumer and business customers. In June this year, M1 launched a 4G service based on the LTE technology, but it is only made available for corporate users.
Yuen Kuan Moon, SingTel's executive vice president of digital consumer, said, "Our LTE service will deliver consistent speeds and performance to allow customers to go beyond web surfing and enjoy a wider range of bandwidth-intensive multimedia content on the move like never before."
"In addition, SingTel is more than just a provider of high-speed connectivity, and we offer a range of applications such as cloud storage, video conferencing, music and e-books that maximises the potential of LTE," he added.
The plan, named Broadband on Mobile Prestige 75 LTE, will be available from 22 December onwards. It will be priced at $69.90 per month, and it will come in a bundle of 10GB of 4G data, as well as 50GB of 3G data.
For a start, it will only be available for USB dongle modems, and initial service deployment will be focused on the Central Business District, but will quickly expand out toward regions such as Orchard, Kallang, Tanjong Pagar, Woodlands and Ang Mo Kio, among others, where data usage is high.
Yuen said that the company is increasingly expanding its network, which is expected to be able to provide LTE coverage for 80 per cent of mobile data users by the end of 2012. This figure will go up to 95 per cent by 2013.
As LTE-enabled devices -- possibly the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 -- start to stream into the market, SingTel will offer plans for them. Samsung and HTC have both since made LTE-enabled smartphones for the U.S. market.
StarHub, on the other hand, has yet to launch their LTE mobile broadband, but it is noted that it has already completed technical trials of LTE in 2010, according to vice president of mobile network engineering, Peter Cook.
At an LTE media demonstration last year, SingTel showed how the LTE technology can allow users to run several online applications simultaneously -- such as streaming a movie, viewing live video feeds, playing a high-definition game online with a friend -- with little to no lag, reported my paper.
Watch this introduction video of the LTE technology: