Singtel gets involved in 5G aviation testbed in Singapore
1 Aug 2023
Singtel said that this testbed enables companies to use 5G to trial and adopt new solutions
Singaporean telco Singtel, together with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) have launched a 5G aviation testbed at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3’s airside.
The partners said that this testbed enables companies to use 5G to trial and adopt new solutions, which would help raise productivity for critical airside functions, including aircraft ground operations, ground handling and line maintenance services.
The testbed, which is supported by Changi Airport Group (CAG), will last for two years. CAAS will review the results of the testbed and study its potential for wide-scale deployment at Changi Airport.
The 5G aviation testbed allows companies operating at Changi Airport Terminal 3 airside to leverage 5G’s high bandwidth, high-speed connectivity and ultra-low latency to transform their operations. Two projects currently participating in the testbed are the tele-operations of autonomous vehicles (AV) and the secure ground transfer of critical flight data between aircraft and its data centers.
Other potential use cases being explored for the 5G aviation testbed include advanced remote inspection of aircraft and the use of video analytics and artificial intelligence to better predict aircraft turnaround time and drive on-time performance, the partners added.
As part of this two-year trial, close to 4,000 Singtel 4G corporate mobile user lines at the airside have been given complimentary upgrades to 5G lines to facilitate the development of such use cases and augment the connectivity of aviation workers at the airside. Singtel also said it is also gradually extending its 5G network coverage to encompass public areas in all terminals by the end of 2025.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we took advantage of the low traffic environment to accelerate various technological trials, such as autonomous vehicles trials, to position the Singapore air hub for long-term growth and competitiveness post-Covid,” commented Han Kok Juan, general director of CAAS. “The 5G aviation testbed is a critical enabler for many of these initiatives and will help boost our air hub’s operational capabilities.”
Ng Tian Chong, CEO of Singtel Singapore, said: “With Singtel’s 5G powering this testbed, participating agencies and solution providers will be able to exploit our ultra-low latency, high-speed connectivity to develop and trial novel and innovative solutions that can enhance the operational efficiency and safety of flight operations at the airside and eventually apply them at scale.”
The partners said that aviation companies interested in developing projects to drive innovation and productivity initiatives at the airport may seek co-funding of such projects under the Aviation Development Fund which supports initiatives to improve productivity in Singapore’s aviation sector through the use of innovative solutions.
Last year, Singtel said its 5G Standalone network covered over 95% of the country’s territory, providing coverage in more than 1,300 outdoor locations and over 400 building across Singapore.
Singtel had announced the launch of its 5G SA network in the country in May of 2021. The carrier had partnered with Korean company Samsung to launch 5G SA network, which runs on 3.5 GHz spectrum.
Singtel had initially launched its 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) network in September of 2020, using spectrum in the 3.5 GHz frequency as well as existing 2.1 GHz spectrum.
By Juan Pedro Tomas, RCR Wireless