Singtel accelerates 5G innovation for enterprise transformation in manufacturing, maritime

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Singtel has announced two initiatives to boost Singapore’s 5G innovation ecosystem and advance Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. Leveraging the capabilities of 5G, both initiatives, announced at Smart Nation Innovations Week, will accelerate business innovation and digital transformation in the maritime and manufacturing industries.

Accelerating Industry 4.0 transformation with 5G

Singtel, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), and JTC have inked a Memorandum Of Understanding to deploy 5G at the ARTC in the Jurong Innovation District. Enterprises can leverage the ARTC to explore how 5G can enable digital technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT), analytics, artificial intelligence and robotics, to create next-generation manufacturing solutions that can help them operate efficiently.

For example, 5G and IoT can be used to more accurately track the locations of Automated Guide Vehicles (AGVs) within a factory. This allows business to better plan AGV deployment in their factories for higher productivity and enhanced safety. Another use case includes leveraging augmented reality with the help of 5G to conduct remote and real-time equipment maintenance.

“5G has immense potential to catapult manufacturing capabilities into an ultra-fast and low-latency reality,” said Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel. “We want to complement the government’s Smart Nation efforts and empower manufacturers and industry players with a robust and versatile launch-pad through the ARTC, allowing them to leverage digital technologies to create next-generation solutions. This key partnership to seed our 5G capabilities will strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading industrial innovation hub, and move us closer in fulfilling our Industry 4.0 vision.”

“5G has the potential to be an important enabler for Singapore’s Digital Economy. IMDA aims to establish an open and vibrant ecosystem, which in turn supports the deployment of innovative 5G applications for our industries and consumers. I would like to encourage interested organisations to partner us in this effort, and participate in the upcoming technical trials and test beds,” said Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.

Dr David Low, Chief Executive Officer of A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre and Executive Director of A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, said, “Digital transformation is a key aspect of the strategy for many organisations, and for some, implementation has already begun in this exciting journey. While science and technology enable businesses to transform digitally, partnerships and open innovation enhance the pace and impact of outcomes in today’s dynamic business environment. With A*STAR, JTC and Singtel working together to deploy 5G capabilities at A*STAR’s Model Factory @ ARTC, the platform will help manufacturers develop Industry 4.0 solutions and new business models based on 5G technology to be future-ready.”

“Home to a thriving advanced manufacturing ecosystem, Jurong Innovation District is an ideal location to trial 5G technologies. With this collaboration, manufacturers will be able explore how 5G can be combined with Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics to create manufacturing solutions for factories of the future,” said Alvin Tan, Assistant CEO, Industry Cluster Group, JTC.

Transforming Singapore’s future maritime operations

Singtel was awarded the 5G Technology Call by PSA and IMDA to develop 5G use cases at the Pasir Panjang Terminal. The trials, expected to progressively be conducted from the third quarter of 2019 lasting about 18 months, will include the use of 5G to support PSA’s mission-critical, all-weather maritime operations such as its connectivity needs, the use of drones, remote tele-operations of port equipment, crane automation and enhancements to AGV operations.

“As Singapore expands its port and maritime operations, 5G will grow increasingly important in its role in maximising operational efficiencies and future-proofing the industry. The 5G trials will enable PSA to load and unload more containers and turn around ships faster. They will also be a test-bed to integrate innovative solutions at the future Tuas Port, and reinforce Singapore’s position as a leading transhipment and container hub,” said Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel.

As the world’s busiest transhipment port, Singapore handled more than 36 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers last year. To accommodate the future growth of containers handled in Singapore, the Tuas Port is being developed and will open in phases from 2021. The mega port is expected to incorporate new technologies and innovative solutions to optimise its operations and enable it to handle up to 65 million TEUs a year.

Making headway in 5G innovation

These two 5G initiatives add momentum to Singtel’s progressive introduction of the new technology to help enterprises transform digitally. In July 2018, Singtel launched Singapore’s first 5G pilot network at the science, business and IT hub at one-north.

This was followed by the launch of 5G Garage, Singapore’s first live 5G facility, at Singapore Polytechnic. The facility serves as a training centre, test bed and ideation lab to develop Singapore’s 5G ecosystem and drive the adoption of 5G by enterprises in their digital transformations.