U Mobile, Starhub partner to conduct 5G SA roaming trials in Q1 2020

5G SA roaming trials would be done completely independent of 4G network infrastructure. — Reuters pic
5G SA roaming trials would be done completely independent of 4G network infrastructure. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, Dec 30 — U Mobile Malaysia and Singapore’s StarHub today announced that they will be conducting one of the world’s first 5G standalone (5G SA) roaming trials in the first quarter 2020.

In a joint statement today, the telcos said the 5G SA roaming trials would be done completely independent of 4G network infrastructure, differing from most other roaming trials which used 5G non-standalone (5G NSA) technology.

The 5G SA trials will be conducted in collaboration with Huawei.

StarHub chief technology officer Chong Siew Loong said: “Our customers’ always-on lifestyles transcend borders. When 5G arrives, we want to continue delivering to customers the same best-in-Singapore connectivity wherever they may be.

“There is no better place to start 5G roaming trials than in Malaysia, our closest neighbour and one of our customers’ top travel destinations. Collaborating with U Mobile on 5G is part of StarHub’s #HelloChange journey to push the limits of innovation for customers to enjoy the best service experience,” said Chong.

Through the testing process, both telcos will monitor performance and gather insights which will help the teams establish key aspects like the right network configurations and settings to ensure seamless 5G roaming experience for customers when 5G rolls out commercially.

The telcos will also be looking into aspects such as the right commercial price point for 5G roaming in both countries.

Meanwhile, U Mobile chief technology officer Woon Ooi Yuen said: “In this growth trajectory, we are also putting huge priority on 5G. In our 5G efforts, apart from fully supporting the government’s National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan, we thought it would be beneficial if we took a step further to be one of the first in the world to conduct 5G SA roaming trials.

“U Mobile believes that these 5G SA trials will not only benefit the business and travel communities who regularly commute between the two countries; we also think it will be beneficial to the healthcare industry as 5G SA may enable remote surgery to be done across borders.”

The first 5G SA roaming trials between StarHub and U Mobile will include use cases such as ‘live’ cross-border holographic calls and multi-party video calls. — Bernama

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