Singapore moves forward with 5G trials in the public sector
Singapore’s public sector agencies have started 5G trials on the resort island of Sentosa to test the use of the next-generation mobile network in areas such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare and tourism .
A total of 10 tests are carried out as part of the [email protected] project, with technology provided by Singtel and the Government Technology Agency, which leverages its smart nation sensor platform to collect and analyze real-time information from a nationwide network of IoT sensors and devices (IoT).
Singtel’s Multi-Access Computing (MEC) platform is also used in trials, which involve public sector organizations such as the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and institutions such than Nanyang Polytechnic.
NEA, for example, is working with Nanyang Technological University to remotely operate an autonomous road sweeping vehicle using the high bandwidth and low latency capabilities of 5G. (see image below). The remote operations initiative would allow an offsite operator to act as an onboard safety driver – a current requirement for autonomous vehicle testing in Singapore.
In construction, the BCA is testing the use of 5G-compatible autonomous robots with mounted 3D laser scanners for remote monitoring of work progress. It is also testing the use of headsets such as Microsoft’s HoloLens to help workers achieve geometry alignment during installation work.
To support testing, Singtel is providing island-wide outdoor 5G coverage over the 3.5 GHz spectrum, as well as outward coverage to support drones and vessel testing. There is also a 28 GHz millimeter wave site near one of the Sentosa beaches in Palawan Green that will provide uplink bandwidth for applications such as remote operations.
Bill Chang, group company CEO at Singtel, said the [email protected] The project will enable government agencies to reap the benefits of high-speed, low-latency connectivity with edge network and cloud slicing capabilities through Singtel’s MEC platform, which also supports forward-looking Microsoft Azure Stack and Amazon Web Services (AWS) workstations.
It is not certain that any of the [email protected] The trials involve the use of one or the other hybrid cloud offering, but government agencies that already run apps on both hyperscale cloud services could potentially deploy those apps on the MEC platform without additional programming.
Michael Ma, Deputy Managing Director of Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), said that with its ecosystem of leisure and business experiences, Sentosa provides an ideal environment to implement innovative solutions as part of its Intelligent sentosa initiative, in which it constantly explores innovative solutions for visitors and to support its operations.
Ma said Sentosa has hosted several test beds over the years, including a autonomous vehicle test on demand in 2019. At least 30 5G use case trials will be conducted on the island by the first half of 2023, building on “Sentosa’s technology initiatives over the years and strengthening Sentosa’s position in as a single site for test benches ”.
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked greater interest in 5G, according to a recent global EY survey, with three quarters of organizations expecting 5G to help them reinvent their processes over the next five years .
5G investments among organizations in Asia-Pacific are also more advanced than the Americas and Europe, with 78% of organizations in the region currently investing or planning to invest in the next two to three years, compared to 71% of organizations in the region. organizations in both countries. Americas and Europe.
Meanwhile, 27% of organizations in Asia-Pacific have reported significantly greater interest in 5G and IoT since the start of the pandemic, compared to 13% and 15% in the Americas and Europe, respectively.