SingTel to trial LTE in Asia-Pacific next year

Telco says trial will include Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore

Optus parent company, SingTel, has announced it will run a trial of the wireless technology called Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.

The trials are scheduled to run for six to nine months and will commence in the first half of 2010.

In a statement, SingTel International Group CEO, Lim Chuan Poh said the aim was to create a regionally compatible LTE network while gaining insight into the mobile technology.

"With our footprint of regional associates serving 273 million customers in eight markets, we are in an excellent position to drive the adoption of LTE technology in the region and beyond," he said in the statement.

The trial is being run in cooperation with Optus, Globe Telecom and Telkomsel with Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, NEC, Ericsson, ZTE and Nokia Siemens Networks participating.

The announcement comes as analyst firm IDC released a report claiming the Asia-Pacific region will have 43.6 million High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) connections by the end of 2009 that will drive the adoption of LTE technology.

The analyst firm said there was significant opportunity for LTE in areas of "under-served broadband households". In the Philippines for example, IDC estimates this potential to be as high as 33 per cent of households, while in India the analyst firm claimed broadband penetration would be less than 1.6 per cent but mobile penetration would hit 38 per cent – or 439 million subscribers – by the end of the year.

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