SINGAPORE: There will be drone and autonomous vehicle trials conducted over a pilot 5G network by the end of the year, according to local telco Singtel and its networking partner Ericsson.
According to a joint press release on Monday (Jul 23), both parties will launch what they tout as Singapore’s first 5G pilot network at one-north by the fourth quarter of the year. The trials will be carried out at one-north and other designated areas, it added.
The 5G pilot network is using airwaves allocated by the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), which both parties said will enable the transfer of terabytes of data in minutes and 4K video downloads in seconds.
These capabilities will transform sectors such as transportation, healthcare and manufacturing, they said.
The announcement came during an event to demonstrate the possibilities of the network on Monday, with Singtel and Ericsson showcasing things like viewing the human anatomy in augmented reality (AR) and streamed in real-time to a remote audience using the 5G network. This, they said, shows the possibilities of using three-dimension (3D) AR in various industries like medical and education.
“This is an encouraging step towards commercialisation with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place,” said Ms Aileen Chia, deputy chief executive and director-general (Telecoms & Post) at IMDA.
“IMDA will continue to work closely with mobile service providers such as Singtel in their journey to build communication capabilities of the future and complement Singapore’s efforts towards a vibrant digital economy.”
Singtel is not the only one looking to stay ahead of the competition with the next-generation mobile network, which has been heavily touted to revolutionise our daily lives.
Rival telco M1 announced with partner Nokia last month it will conduct the latter’s first 5G small cell trial in Southeast Asia in selected industries that require dedicated small cell capacity and very low latency connectivity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
StarHub, too, said it has been conducting 5G trials since 2016. Chief Technology Officer Chong Siew Loong said the telco will switch on 5G base stations on its network by end of 2018, and that its trials will cover robotics and smart logistics, among others.