Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), in partnership with device manufacturers Samsung and Ericsson, has unveiled a commercial 300 Mbps LTE-Advanced service for smartphones, which will be available starting on 23 August. At that time SingTel will launch the Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+, a handset compatible with 4G LTE-A networks. Another compatible smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha 4G+, will be available from SingTel in September. SingTel has been working with its mobile network equipment provider Ericsson to expand its LTE-A network across Singapore, and coverage now extends to more than 55 percent of the island.
As we have already seen with standard LTE, the best way for mobile operators to promote high-speed networks is to provide access to devices that support them. LTE-A has now progressed beyond the trial stage, and operators such as SingTel that have invested in building out networks with significant coverage can recoup that investment by doing whatever they can to induce customers to use the service and experience its advantages. In sophisticated, data-hungry markets such as Singapore, download speeds in the vicinity of 300 Mbps are appealing, and high-end devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ will probably find plenty of takers, despite the cost.