It is a potent day in Singapore at LTE Asia as Mock Pak Lum (left), CTO of StarHub opens the morning keynote presentations with ‘The StarHub LTE Journey’, notably as the mobile operator officially launches their LTE network today. It is a particularly significant journey because it marks the last operator in Singapore to offer 4G services, showing the rapid development and commitment to LTE within the Asia Pacific region. Only last week M1 announced their nationwide LTE service and SingTel had previously extended their dongle-only LTE services to smartphones this June and to tablets in August.
The Singapore based mobile network will set its LTE network to go live today, making it available in Singapore’s Central Business District as well as in Changi Airport and Singapore Expo. Nationwide LTE network coverage is scheduled to be completed by 2013.
The high-speed mobile broadband network with Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Dual Cell High-Speed Packet Access Plus (DC-HSPA+) will offer customers improved peak downlink speeds of up to 75 Mbps and 42 Mbps respectively. Mr Chan King Hung, Head of Marketing & Products at StarHub notes the advanced LTE and DC-HSPA+ mobile broadband network will offer “increased data capacity, improved speeds and reduced latency; our customers can enjoy bandwidth intensive content including mobile TV, video and music streaming, cloud services, and social networking, among others”.
With Singapore having one of the world’s highest smartphone penetration rates at over 70% it was only a matter of time before StarHub joined the LTE bandwagon. “Mobile data usage has more than doubled between 2009 and 2011, and we are seeing a fast growing demand for mobile data applications and services. We expect this growth trend to continue, and we have been devoting our resources and efforts to drive service improvements in our mobile network.” commented Mr Chan King Hung.
To coincide with its LTE network launch, StarHub will begin offering four new smartphone price plans as outlined below:
StarHub’s LTE pricing plans are priced below M1 and SingTel LTE packages although its coverage will initially be limited to certain areas of Singapore whereas M1 boasts nationwide coverage.
The lack of 4G handsets was perhaps a restrictive factor in the acceleration of Singapore’s LTE network but with the recent announcement of the LTE-enabled iPhone 5 and all three Singapore-based mobile operators signed up to offer the handset from 21st September onwards, it is likely things will soon speed up! We are set for an exciting day ahead at LTE Asia 2012 as LTE has become ever more established in the Asia Pacific region.