By 2020, Singapore will be rolling out 5G networks progressively, with at least half of Singapore enjoying full-fledged 5G capabilities by end 2022. This will allow Singaporeans and enterprises alike to enjoy the many benefits it brings.

What is 5G and why do we need it?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile broadband technology, which many see as the next big leap in mobile communications (4G was introduced in Singapore back in 2011!). With 5G, users can enjoy:

  • Faster mobile broadband speeds, up to 20Gbps (20 times faster than theoretical peak 4G speeds);    
  • More reliable mobile broadband, with a much faster response time, possibly as low as 1 millisecond (25 times faster than today); and
  • Multi-device support.

Companies will also be able to tap on 5G to bring new services and efficiency to Singaporeans. With these performance improvements from 5G, businesses could unlock the potential of autonomous vehicles, smart factories, and many more innovations.

Is 5G safe?

Since the introduction of mobile phones over 20 years ago, there have been concerns raised on the possible health risks of radiation exposure.

Like the previous generations of mobile networks, 5G networks rely on radiofrequency (RF) waves to connect users. Radiation from RF waves are non-ionising and too weak to break chemical bonds in our cells. In fact, RF waves are also used extensively for many services that we use on a daily basis such as watching TV and listening to the car radio.


Overall, the level of RF radiation Singaporeans is exposed to is very low – typically 0.7%, or less than one-hundredth of the acceptable levels below international guidelines[1].

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and National Environment Agency (NEA) closely monitor radiation levels in Singapore, as well as international guidelines and policies. The Government will consult health and radiation experts regularly to ensure that mobile network services, including for 5G, will be safe for Singapore.

How much will 5G cost?

Some are concerned about how much more 5G is going to cost.

Based on past trends, costs become more competitive as technology matures and global deployment becomes more pervasive. This was the case for 3G and 4G networks; and will likely be the same for 5G.

[1] In Singapore, we take guidance from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines. ICNIRP is an independent international organisation recognised by the World Health Organisation. Its safety guidelines on public exposure to RF radiation are widely accepted by many countries.