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First Batch of Public Sector 5G Trials at Sentosa Underway

ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY AGENCY OF SINGAPORE, SENTOSA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, AND SINGTEL  

Sentosa will serve as a testbed for promising public sector use cases that could be rolled out on the mainland in the next five years, with the first batch of trials already underway. The 5G@Sentosa programme was announced today by Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Mrs Josephine Teo.

5G@Sentosa is a public-private sector collaboration led by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), and Singtel. The testbed catalyses the public sector’s adoption of 5G connectivity ahead of the nationwide 5G rollout in 2025 by enabling agencies to trial use cases that improve operational effectiveness and deliver citizen-centric services. 5G will also enhance GovTech’s Smart Nation Sensor Platform, facilitating agencies’ gathering and processing of sensor data in real-time, and opening up new operational possibilities in areas such as urban planning and traffic management. Singtel plays an important role with its purpose-built network and edge cloud infrastructure in Sentosa supporting 5G application rollout on a mass scale, while Sentosa provides a unique environment as an ecosystem of leisure experiences and businesses for organisations to study and trial the viability of innovative prototypes and solutions.

A total of 10 trials have started, leveraging the lower latency, higher speed, and broader bandwidth of 5G technology for use cases in areas such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare and tourism. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technologies (CHART) at Changi General Hospital, Nanyang Polytechnic, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR’s) Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) are among the first wave of agencies participating in 5G@Sentosa. SDC will also partner with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in trialling infrastructure-light 5G leisure experiences in Sentosa, which could potentially be adopted by Singapore’s tourism industry. The Government aims to have 15 live trials by public agencies running in Sentosa by the end of the year, and at least 30 by the first half of 2023.

“5G is a key component of the SNSP that allows us to tap the full potential of sensors and IoT systems to facilitate the real-time sharing of operational data, generate new insights, and deliver better citizen-centric public services. 5G@Sentosa gives GovTech a platform to work with agencies and industry to co-create solutions for the public sector,” said GovTech Chief Executive Kok Ping Soon. “We are encouraged by agencies’ recognition of 5G as an emerging technology with the potential to unlock new Smart Nation applications and look forward to supporting more trials at 5G@Sentosa.”

BCA is currently working with Gammon Pte Ltd, the builder of the North-South Link Project in Sentosa, to trial the use of 5G for construction applications. This includes deploying fully autonomous robots with mounted 3D laser scanners for remote tracking of work progress, leveraging augmented reality technology for real-time quality control on building installations, and using drones with live video feeds for site inspection. 

Said Dr Tan Kee Wee, Programme Director of the Digitalisation department in BCA, “5G technology has opened up many possibilities for the Built Environment sector to further leverage robotics and automation. Such applications typically require a large amount of data to be transmitted in real-time which 5G would be able to support. We are excited to see the results of these trials on how 5G technology can improve site productivity and safety, transforming the way we build. We hope to partner more built environment firms to trial such 5G capabilities to improve their digital site management capabilities.”

The NEA is working with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to trial the tele-operation of the Autonomous Environmental Service Vehicle for road-sweeping. 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency are beneficial for streaming live camera feeds from the vehicle to the off-site operator, as well as transmitting haptic feedback and vehicular commands. These trials would enable an off-site operator to play the role of the on-board safety driver, a current requirement for Autonomous Vehicle (AV) trials, in the eventual deployment of AVs on public roads.

Mr Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel said, “The trials at Sentosa are the big ramp-up in public sector use cases after the launch of Singtel’s islandwide 5G Standalone network. Our common vision with GovTech, Sentosa, and the partnering agencies is to accelerate and develop an exciting 5G eco-system. Singtel’s 5G network and Multi-Access Edge Compute is enabling the deployment of low-latency, business-critical applications, allowing agencies to trial the use of 5G-powered drones and robots, deployment of teleops as well as advanced data analytics capabilities easily and efficiently. What you have seen today is a sampling of what 5G can achieve, and we welcome more agencies, businesses and eco-system partners to come on board.”

Mr Michael Ma, Assistant Chief Executive, SDC, said, “Being a leading leisure destination, we are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to deepen our engagement with guests and create great experiences. The range of 5G trials will play an important role in identifying opportunities where infrastructure-light 5G technology can be leveraged not only to achieve greater productivity and efficiency in SDC’s management of the Sentosa precinct, such as in transport, security, and cleaning operations, but also to enhance Singapore’s tourism offerings, including Sentosa’s range of unique leisure experiences. Such offerings could include edutainment featuring immersive 5G augmented reality (AR) experiences at Sentosa’s nature and heritage trails. We are pleased to partner STB to trial the gamification of the Fort Siloso area, with a joint technical study to begin by the end of this year.”

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