Chinese vendors 'snubbed' as city-state cellcos pick Ericsson, Nokia for 5G rollouts

26 Jun 2020

Singapore’s Singtel has confirmed its selection of Ericsson of Sweden to build out its new 5G mobile network, while the rival joint venture consortium (JVCo) formed by StarHub and M1 has picked Nokia as its main 5G network partner including supply of core and mmWave networks. To the disappointment of Chinese gear makers Huawei and ZTE, the telcos said only that they are ‘exploring’ options for involvement in other parts of the new networks, Reuters reports. As reported yesterday by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has issued the ‘final awards’ including commercial 5G 3.5GHz and mmWave spectrum to Singtel and the JVCo, at the close of what it describes as ‘a rigorous and holistic 5G call for proposal (CFP) process’.

Press reports noted, meanwhile, that Huawei was rival bidder TPG Telecom’s preferred equipment supplier in the 5G tender, possibly raising questions as to whether that played any part in its failure in the CFP selection outcome. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, when IMDA announced the provisional results of the 5G CFP process in April, TPG was not selected as one of the main 5G licensees, but instead has been allocated mmWave spectrum to roll out localised 5G networks. Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, dismissed suggestions that Huawei was a major factor in the CFP decision, however, stating that the Chinese tech giant was not exclusively used by TPG. ‘We never explicitly excluded any vendor,’ the minister said in an interview with Bloomberg, adding that the city-state has ‘very clear security and resilience requirements’.

Singapore, Ericsson, M1, Nokia, Singtel, StarHub