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SUTD and M1 to collaborate on 5G tech

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and telco M1 are collaborating on research efforts towards creating advanced robots that use 5G technology.

M1 will be the service provider of the 5G network. SUTD researches and students will use this network as a test platform. It will be an indoor network made of small cells transmitting the network.

This is a new approach taken in the transmission of network services in Singapore.

Small cells are portable miniature base stations that need minimal power to operate and can be placed every 250 meters throughout land spaces. The reason for using small cells is due to their lower-power, short-range wireless transmission systems that span a tighter space area.

Currently, base stations are used to transmit networks across geographical areas. These small cells will allow the network to be transmitted rapidly and widely, thus expanding the network coverage.

The test platform will also focus on features such as:

  • security and delivery services
  • real-time remote operation of robots and e-scooters
  • production of virtual-reality and augmented-reality content for video-streaming

The aim of creating this test platform is to allow for innovations to be created and to be applied in finding practical solutions for government and enterprises. This will allow the formation of a talent pipeline to drive Singapore’s Smart Nation goals said M1 and SUTD.

Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, SUTD’s associate provost for research and international relations said “We are pleased to collaborate with M1 to be the first to testbed an indoor 5G system in Singapore. SUTD’s students, faculty and researchers will have access to the latest 5G technology, and (can) enhance their relevant knowledge and skills.”

M1 chief technical officer Dennis Seek said that 5G technology has the capabilities of carrying and transmitting reliable but delayed communication which is apt for commanding and controlling a robot from a distance.

An earlier OpenGov article reported how mobile network operators are conducting trials and have shown promising results. The trials have achieved throughputs of over 1 Gbps, with a very low latency of less than 1 millisecond.

These trials are meant to increase the understanding of the ways in which the 5G network can be implemented in Singapore and how it would operate in Singapore’s business environment.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has identified the following as the key focus areas of investing and innovating 5G technology in:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT)
  2. Artificial intelligence and data science
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Immersive media through the use of virtual reality/ augmented reality

M1 and SUTD signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) at SUTD’s annual Fostering Industrial Research Success Together (FIRST) Industry Workshop on Wednesday, July 24.


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