IMDA partners MPA to develop the world’s first and largest Maritime testbed at sea
SINGAPORE – 30 AUG 2022
Singapore will achieve full 5G standalone (SA) network coverage over our anchorages, fairways, terminals, and boarding grounds by mid-2025. 5G network coverage in our current port waters will enable the establishment of Singapore’s 5G@SEA, the world’s first public and largest 5G Maritime testbed to trial, innovate, and commercialise Maritime 5G use-cases over the next decade.
As a nation with high ambitions for the transformative powers of 5G, we have rolled out our inland 5G coverage. In partnership with MPA, we now look to extend 5G coverage offshore. We look forward to being able to be one of the world’s first countries for automated ship movement and remote pilotage. IMDA is excited to see the next bound of Maritime innovation as we support Singapore's efforts as a global Maritime capital.
Mr Lew Chuen Hong
Chief Executive, IMDA
Home to one of the world’s busiest Maritime activities, Maritime 5G network coverage for Singapore’s offshore southern coasts will reduce turnaround time and improve efficiency for ships coming in and out of Singapore. Co-funded by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), this collaboration will be a key enabler in supporting Singapore’s Maritime ambition to handle 65mil twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) upon the completion of Tuas Port in the 2040s.
Singapore’s 5G@SEA Maritime testbed is a collaboration by IMDA’s 5G Innovation and Ecosystem Development Programme and MPA’s Innovation Lab. Under this partnership, local mobile network operator M1 Limited (M1) will provide 5G SA network coverage.
Initial use-case to focus on Remote Assisted Pilotage Advisory
Once developed by mid-2025, Singapore’s 5G@SEA Maritime testbed will accelerate MarineTech research, development, and facilitate testing of new applications that can improve Maritime innovation, job design & transformation, and safety. As a start, 5G initial use-cases will focus on Remote Assisted Pilotage Advisory (RAPA) for automation, productivity, and human safety.
Vessels of 300 Gross Tonnage (GT) and above entering Port of Singapore requires an MPA-licensed Harbour Pilot to physically board the vessel and provide guidance to shipmasters to navigate the vessel safely within Singapore’s waters. Currently, for large vessels, a harbour pilot must be transported by a small harbour craft from the pier to the vessel and proceed to climb a series of vertical ladders to the ship’s deck.
Maritime 5G will enable these pilots to remotely pilot the ship via a shore-based control centre through real-time video imagery providing situation awareness of the vessel. With this, the pilot does not need to physically board the ship. RAPA will help to significantly enhance service efficiency, improve resource utilisation and transform the role of a harbour pilot from a physically demanding job to remote operations, greatly enhancing safety.
Reimagining the future of Singapore Maritime
Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) is another potential future Maritime use-case that will enable companies to develop and test new systems enabling ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications, autonomous manoeuvres and remote control of ships. Sensors onboard MASS are expected to generate a vast amount of critical data for activities such as collision avoidance and docking. Maritime 5G can provide a secure, high-performance network for the exchange of navigational safety data between MASS and between MASS and shore-based control centres, especially crucial in our congested port waters.
Other Maritime 5G use cases include shore-to-ship delivery, where drones will be able to quickly send critical components to the vessels out at sea instead of ships coming into the berth for urgent inspections and repairs. For ships with no medical personnel on board, telemedicine via HD video streaming will facilitate the provision of quick diagnosis for the less critical cases.
Companies interested to test, innovate on the next bound of 5G transformation please contact, 5GSG@imda.gov.sg.