Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Ericsson and Singtel 5G pilot to include drone trials

Steve Rogerson
July 26, 2018

Singapore plans to see its first 5G pilot network go live by the end of this year through a partnership between local operator Singtel and Ericsson. The network will be deployed at One-North in Buona Vista, the country’s science, business and IT hub, and include drone trials.
The move sees Singtel and Ericsson strengthen their 5G centre of excellence programme partnership. This was launched in October 2017 to facilitate the development and deployment of 5G across Singapore. The programme features four main pillars – upgrading of employees’ skills, technology demonstrations, live field trials and collaborations with tertiary institutions.
Using Ericsson’s 3GPP standards-compliant 5G technology with the trial spectrum allocated by Singapore’s Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), the pilot network will deliver 5G coverage with enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) speed and low latency communications.
Industries such as transportation, healthcare and manufacturing can leverage 5G to accelerate digital transformation and deploy automation technologies. Enterprises can also work with Singtel and Ericsson at One-North to develop 5G use cases and tap the business potential of 5G.
“5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications,” said Mark Chong, group chief technology officer for Singtel. “We are pleased to take another bold step in our journey to 5G with our 5G pilot network at One-North and invite enterprises to start shaping their digital future with us.”
Using the 5G pilot network, Singtel and Ericsson will conduct drone trials later this year at One-North.
“This is an encouraging step towards commercialisation with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place,” said Aileen Chia, deputy chief executive 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.”
The 5G pilot network was announced at Singtel and Ericsson’s Bringing 5G to Life event, held at Singtel Comcentre this month. At the same event, Singtel and Ericsson demonstrated 5G use cases, including 3D augmented reality (AR) streaming over a 5G network operating in the 28GHz millimetre wave spectrum.
The demonstration enabled participants to view and interact with lifelike virtual objects such as a photorealistic human anatomy and a 360-degree image of the world. The immersive experience was then streamed in real time to a remote audience via 5G.
Performed with immersive AR technology firm Meta, the demonstration illustrated the possibilities of using 3D AR technology for large-scale remote learning in various industries such as medical and education, enabled by a high-speed and low-latency 5G network.
“5G represents a key mobile technology evolution, opening up new possibilities and applications,” said Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson in Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. “We believe that 5G will play a key role in the digital transformation of the Singapore economy. Demonstrating the possibilities in this showcase event will be a catalyst for engagements with Singapore enterprises.”
The event showed emerging technologies from Garuda Robotics, Intel, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony, demonstrating how enterprises and consumers can use technologies such as AR, mixed reality, connected drones and real-time HD 3D mapping as well as cloud-based gaming and robotics.
Singtel delivers an integrated suite of services, including mobile, broadband and TV. For businesses, Singtel offers workforce mobility services, data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics and cyber-security capabilities. The group has a presence in Asia, Australia and Africa and reaches more than 685 million mobile customers in 22 countries. Its infrastructure and technology services for businesses span 21 countries, with more than 428 direct points of presence in 362 cities.
Ericsson has increased its US footprint by expanding its 4G partnership with Verizon to include new markets. This extended partnership includes Ericsson Radio System 4G LTE equipment, which, in addition to enabling advances in 4G LTE capabilities, will provide a 5G-ready platform that will allow Verizon to transition sites to 5G when they deploy the service in those markets.
The markets will be deployed using Ericsson’s baseband and dual band radios, optimised for widescale high-capacity deployment. It will be software upgradeable to 5G and will deliver Cat-M and NB-IoT for massive IoT use cases.