Singtel has drawn upon solutions from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure to underpin its joint public sector 5G use case trial project with the Singapore government in Sentosa, an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast.
Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, Josephine Teo, announced the so-called ‘5G@Sentosa’ program on 19 October, detailing the breadth of the government’s new 5G testbed.
Broadly, the 5G@Sentosa project is a public-private sector collaboration led by Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech), the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and Singtel.
Sentosa will serve as a testbed for promising public sector use cases that could be rolled out on the Singapore mainland within the next five years, with the first batch of trials already underway.
The testbed is designed to help ‘catalyse’ the Singapore public sector’s adoption of 5G connectivity ahead of the nationwide 5G rollout in 2025 by enabling agencies to trial use cases that improve operational effectiveness and deliver citizen-centric services.
A total of 10 trials have already started, leveraging the lower latency, higher speed and broader bandwidth that 5G technology can offer for use cases in areas such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare and tourism.
Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technologies (CHART) at Changi General Hospital and Nanyang Polytechnic are among the first wave of agencies participating in the 5G@Sentosa trials.
As a core partner in the joint project, Singtel is playing a major role with its purpose-built network and edge cloud infrastructure in Sentosa, supporting 5G application rollout on a mass scale.
Specifically, Singtel’s 5G network and multi-access edge compute (MEC) infrastructure will power some of the trials, supporting the deployment of low latency business critical applications.
Singtel claims its multi-access edge compute offering is the first in Singapore to offer a hybrid infrastructure, combining Singtel’s own edge computing solution along with solutions from AWS and Azure, leading to a range of plug-and-play services at the edge to help agencies develop and deploy their solutions.
Not only has Singtel incorporated Azure cloud technology from Microsoft as part of its suite of infrastructure and solutions underpinning the project, it is employing AWS Outposts, the cloud vendor’s managed service that extends AWS infrastructure and services to private enterprise or third-party data centres and colocation spaces.
According to Bill Chang, CEO of Group Enterprise at Singtel, the project sees the company deepen its government sector play.
“The trials at Sentosa are the big ramp up in public sector use cases after the launch of Singtel’s island-wide 5G Standalone network,” Chang said. “Our common vision with GovTech, Sentosa and the partnering agencies is to accelerate and develop an exciting 5G eco-system.
“Singtel’s 5G network and multi-access edge compute is enabling the deployment of low-latency, business-critical applications, allowing agencies to trial the use of 5G-powered drones and robots, deployment of teleops as well as advanced data analytics capabilities easily and efficiently.
“What you have seen today is a sampling of what 5G can achieve, and we welcome more agencies, businesses and ecosystem partners to come on board,” he added.
Singtel and its subsidiary Optus unveiled plans earlier this year to expand their 5G ecosystem capabilities to enterprise and start-up customers in Singapore and Australia, rolling out AWS Outposts to drive digital transformation adoption.
The move was designed to allow customers to develop low latency 5G solutions via multi-access edge compute infrastructures, leveraging Outposts to allow robotics, drones, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence offerings to operate at ultra-low latency.
“We’re pleased to work with a world-class cloud provider like AWS to expand Singtel’s and Optus’ 5G ecosystems and increase the adoption of edge computing by enterprises and start-ups,” Chang said at the time.