Singtel, Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic open SG 1st 5G facility

SingtelEricsson and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) recently opened Singapore’s first live 5G facility at SP’s Dover Road campus on 17th January 2019. The name of this 5G facility is “5G Garage”, they are connected to Singtel’s latest pilot 5G network located at Ayer Rajah and runs on 3.5GHz trial spectrum granted by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

At the official launch and opening event, guests not only witness this historic moment, they were brought on a tour of the 5G Garage and take a look into the upcoming products, gadgets, services and devices powered by Singtel’s latest pilot 5G network located at Ayer Rajah. 5G Garage will serve 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.

5G Garage is conceptualised by Singtel and Ericsson, using this word “garage” sounds familiar to me and it dawned upon me that the major technological companies in the world were “born” in their home garage. After a tour of the 5G Garage, taking a look at some of the 5G Garage student projects and SME demonstrations, I reckon this would be a fitting name and we might get to see of those student projects coming to life into society some time down the road! Some of Singapore’s local SME companies are also on board, showcasing their innovations powered by 5G technology.

My journey with Singtel, Ericsson and 5G technology coverage started in August 2016, when Singtel and Ericsson were the first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia, followed by Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum in January 2017 hosted by Singtel. From this article “Journey to 5G: Singtel is a step closer to 5G” that I covered in January 2017, I have continued on with another coverage article today on the development of 5G technology, it’s getting even closer, there are more real life applications examples of gadgets and devices using 5G technology and connectivity.

From the techonological advancements over the past two years, 5G is more than just a step closer for Singapore, with Singtel and Ericsson leading the way with its infrastructure setup and support to build the 5G capabilities and solutions for the workforce and society.

Check out some of the student projects and industry innovations that have adopted 5G technology and connectivity. It’s a matter of time before 5G is in full force and operating in Singapore (maybe year 2019 or year 2020?). From both B2B and B2C industries, we should be able to see more devices, products, gadgets and services using 5G technology and connectivity, in both commercial and personal capacities in our society, coming soon in the very near future.

Let me share key information and details on the 5G Garage

The first-of-its-kind 5G collaboration between enterprise, industry and an institute of higher learning in Singapore, 5G Garage was officially launched at SP’s Engineering Show 2019. The three parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) encompassing the following strategic objectives:

  • Build and operate a 5G facility where enterprises can develop and test 5G solutions
  • Co-develop 5G solutions relevant to industries such as transportation, logistics, healthcare and manufacturing
  • Develop and deliver 5G wireless technology curriculum for the SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Develop 5G capabilities of our workforce

Mr Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, said, “Singtel is pleased to partner Ericsson and SP on our 5G Garage initiative. As Singapore advances its digital economy and becomes a Smart Nation, the benefits of 5G will first be seen in enterprises, especially in their digital transformation when they integrate technology into their processes, services and products. With 5G standards largely established, now is an opportune time for SMEs and enterprises to join us in shaping our 5G future.”

Mr Martin Wiktorin, Country Manager Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, Ericsson, states: “5G has the potential to transform industries and bring enhanced mobile broadband experience for consumers. At Ericsson, we are already collaborating globally with 42 operators, 45 institutes and 31 industry partners, to create a thriving 5G ecosystem. We are delighted to partner Singtel and Singapore Polytechnic towards the setting up of the 5G Garage, which we hope will stimulate SP students to come up with new 5G use cases.”

As part of the collaboration, around 250 final-year students from the Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Diploma in Computer Engineering will learn about 5G wireless technology and how to harness and apply it as part of their coursework. There will also be technology transfer from Singtel and Ericsson 5G experts to SP staff and students, through train-the-trainers, technical content sharing and advice on industry applications. Additionally, SP students in the Singtel Engineering Cadet Scholarship Programme will also have the opportunity to take up internships in the 5G Garage and develop solutions for real-life challenges.

Mr Soh Wai Wah, Singapore Polytechnic’s Principal and CEO, said, “This collaboration reflects our strong industry partnership, which is key to keeping our student learning relevant and updated. This latest collaboration will equip our students with skills in the latest technologies and nurture them to innovate and create solutions for the world.”

Three SP Engineering student projects – SP Secure drone system, SP Driverless and Electrifying Car, and Pipe Climbing Robot were selected for 5G development. They were featured during the 5G Garage opening event, with students presenting their projects to over 100 guests.

Local SME partners, Cloudzenand H3Dynamics, also showcased their innovations enhanced with 5G connectivity. Cloudzen demonstrated how their Cloud-based Entertainment Platform can deliver a seamless gaming experience and H3Dynamics performed real-time video analytics on a drone flight in a building façade and security surveillance use case.

5G Garage is the latest project in Singtel and Ericsson’s 5G Centre of Excellence programme which focuses on upgrading of employees’ skills, technology demonstrations, live field trials and collaborations with educational institutions. Last November, Singtel and Ericsson made Singapore’s first 5G data call over their 5G pilot network at one-north.

* Information courtesy of Singtel, Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic *

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