M1 to trial 5G offshore coverage

M1 is taking 5G to the waters off the southern coast of Singapore. The multi-year project is said to be the world’s first public and largest maritime testbed at sea.

Extending 5G offshore coverage enhances connectivity in the larger maritime ecosystem and unlocks new use cases and applications. This is an important step in the maritime industry’s digital transformation efforts, and its goal of becoming the next engine of growth for Singapore.

The initiative is a collaboration with and co-funded by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

On its part, M1 will provide a 5G standalone network to trial, develop and deploy new maritime 5G use cases under the IMDA Innovation and Ecosystem Testbed Programme and the MPA Innovation Lab

Potential 5G use cases are targeted at enhancing the efficiency and safety of maritime operations and management.

The use of 5G connectivity will enable telemedicine for crew welfare at sea, delivery drones, maritime surveillance, and autonomous vessels. Other use cases include remotely controlled task-based robots, such as ship inspection and autonomous fire-fighting robots that are used for more dangerous and labour-intensive tasks.

“The launch of M1’s 5G standalone network provides low-latency, responsive, secured and high-throughput mobile connectivity to ensure more precise and reliable communications between the ships and the port. 5G has the capability to resolve long-standing pain points and it will become the natural technology of choice for the maritime industry,” said Manjot Singh Mann, CEO of M1.