Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) plans to launch a 4G mobile network in the country before the end of 2011 initially deploying 200 base transceiver stations (BTS), as it looks to ramp up its multimedia services capabilities. Reuters quotes SingTel CEO Allen Lew as saying that his firm is looking to drive the contribution of multimedia and ICT revenues to ‘closer to 50%’ of the total over the next three to five years, up from the current 25%. Mr Lew said that although the initial rollout of 200 BTS is small, his firm will further expand coverage and capacity in 2012/13. [The initial 4G investment] is not significant within the light of our total investment cost for the year,’ he said. ‘Typically in any year we are investing about SGD1 billion (USD809.1 million) in our infrastructure, and some of our IT services and equipment,’ he added.
SingTel is looking to play catch-up to domestic rival M1 which launched a 4G service based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology on Tuesday. The state’s third cellco StarHub completed technical trials of LTE in 2010, according to vice president of mobile network engineering, Peter Cook.