Singapore mobile operator M1 Limited (M1) and equipment maker Nokia today announced plans to deploy the city-state’s first commercial Heterogeneous Network (HetNet). The pair say the plan involves the build-out of small cells and Wi-Fi access platforms at high-traffic sites and will complement M1’s 4G+ network to boost access speeds to more than 1Gbps from 2017 onwards using LTE-WiFi Aggregation (LWA). In a website press release, the cellco said that customer demand for data continues to rise – fuelled by the increased availability of faster networks and the popularity of video streaming, social media and online gaming apps. As such, the HetNet programme is expected to provide the best coverage and network capacity to meet demand by integrating large and small cells with different wireless radio technologies such as cellular and Wi-Fi. Nokia will supply M1 with Flexi Zone small cells and Wi-Fi equipment across hundreds of high-traffic hotspots nationwide, including MRT/LRT rail stations, malls and popular outdoor areas such as Marina Bay and Clarke Quay. Additionally, the small cells’ compact footprint will allow M1 to deploy them at hard-to-reach areas such as car parks, basements and parks, it said. Furthermore, M1 says it is also building a narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network with Nokia, touted to be a more efficient way to support IoT communications. The initial investment into the HetNet and NB-IoT network is expected to top SGD50 million (USD37.19 million).