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Singapore snubs Huawei over 5G

Singtel and Starhub have celebrated winning 5G licenses by announcing Ericsson and Nokia as their respective kit vendor partners.

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority has been doshing out mid-band and millimetre wave spectrum and, since Starhub is building its 5G network in partnership with M1, these announcements cover all the main MNOs in the city state. As part of their respective statements Singtel announced Ericsson as its partner for the full monty of 5Gness, while Starhub identified Nokia as its preferred supplier.

“We are excited to get this greenlight to lead and shape 5G in Singapore by building a world-class, secure and resilient 5G network that will serve as the backbone of Singapore’s digital economy,” said Singtel Group CEO Ms Chua Sock Koong. “More than a business investment, we see this as a significant investment in Singapore’s digital future as 5G spurs innovation among enterprises and industries, creating new businesses, jobs and economic value in the process.”

Starhub didn’t offer a canned quote and also opted not to burn its bridges by indicating it might offer some work to other vendors. But this is a clear snub of Chinese vendors by Singapore, which joins other Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and India in giving them a wide berth. It will be interesting to see how the 5G vendor situation evolves in neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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