Singapore telco Singtel has announced plans to roll out ‘near-gigabit’ mobile services using pre-5G technology, initially targeting 800Mbps LTE-A services in the Orchard Road area. Working in partnership with Ericsson, the operator will usher in ultra-high speed mobile data speeds at selected high-traffic outdoor locations, delivering peak speeds up to 60% faster than those available on existing 4.5G services. The new service will scale pre-5G technology solutions, including 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (4×4 MIMO) and 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), coupled with triple carrier aggregation (3C). Singtel says that customers with Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphones will be able to experience the 800Mbps peak speeds at the outdoor areas of Shaw Centre, ION Orchard and at Tang Plaza, Orchard Road on the island. Going forward, full deployment at Orchard Road, Raffles Place and Clarke Quay is slated for the end of August. More Cat 16 smartphones supporting 1Gbps speeds are scheduled to be introduced later this year.