Singapore expands 5G coverage at seaport, boosting maritime industry

To promote the use of 5G in maritime operations, Singapore will extend its standalone 5G coverage to its seaport, which will cover terminals, fairways, embarkation grounds and anchorages by mid-2025, according to a ComputerWeekly.com report.

(Photo: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A passenger boat approaches the Merlion Park pier near the Marina financial district (background) in Singapore August 11, 2016. Singapore cut its economic growth forecast for this year on August 11, citing concerns regarding the weaker global outlook and the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

Innovating in the maritime industry with 5G

This would open the door to testing and commercializing marine 5G use cases through the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Maritime Port Authority ([email protected]) test bed, starting by the remote piloting of vessels approaching the Port of Singapore.

A qualified harbor pilot must currently physically board vessels of 300 gross tonnage or more and brief masters on how to operate the vessel safely on Singapore’s waterways.

The harbor pilot typically rides in a small harbor craft to the ship from the pier before ascending a set of vertical ladders to the ship’s deck, as noted by ComputerWeekly.com.

But with 5G, the requirement to physically board the vessel is eliminated as the pilot can operate the vessel remotely from a shore-based control center using real-time video vision.

According to IMDA, this will dramatically improve resource utilization, increase security, and change the role of a port pilot from physically demanding work to remote operations.

Another example of a maritime 5G use case is the use of drones to transport vital components to ships at sea rather than landing them at a terminal for immediate inspections and repairs.

Read also: Are 5G towers harmful to human health? Here’s what an expert study says

The technology of choice for the maritime sector

Singapore’s M1 phone company will install the 5G network in the country’s port. According to Manjot Singh Mann, CEO of M1, 5G has the potential to solve persistent problems and will inevitably become the technology of choice for the maritime sector.

The development of enterprise 5G has recently accelerated in the Southeast Asian country. Singtel has led 5G installations in sectors such as manufacturing, remote operations and construction, in addition to M1.

Singtel and Continental signed a contract earlier this week that would use Paragon’s multi-access state-of-the-art computing platform to increase situational awareness of automotive systems and improve road safety.

“Singtel’s ubiquitous 5G network and cutting-edge Paragon cloud platform delivering high bandwidth, low latency connectivity and compute capabilities, combined with Continental’s deep expertise in automotive innovation, will propel a new growth in smart mobility and fleet management,” said Singtel CEO of group and regional businesses. Data center company Bill Chang said in a statement.

Related article: Global 5G mobile subscriptions expected to hit 1 billion by end of 2022, Ericsson says

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Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla

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