M1 announced Singapore’s first commercial HetNet (Heterogeneous Network) rollout as customer demand for data continues to grow, driven by faster networks and high-bandwidth mobile applications such as video streaming, social media and online gaming.
HetNet, the integration of large and small cells with different wireless radio technologies such as cellular and WiFi, will enable M1 to provide the best coverage and network capacity to meet this demand.
As part of its HetNet deployment, M1 will progressively roll out an overlay of integrated Nokia’s Flexi Zone small cells and WiFi equipment across hundreds of high-traffic hotspots nationwide, to complement its advanced 4G+ network. Through leading edge LTE-WiFi Aggregation (LWA) technology, M1 expects to deliver peak download speeds of more than 1Gbps by 2017. Deployment sites will include MRT/LRT 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.
The rollout follows M1’s successful trials earlier in the year at the Paragon mall, the Orchard and Raffles Place MRT stations, as well as at multiple locations in Jurong East. M1 said the trial, utilizing both indoor and outdoor small cells, saw customers experience up to 60% improvement in download speeds, and also demonstrated the effectiveness of utilizing both macro and small cells in managing network traffic.