Singapore Targets 5G Coverage For Maritime Operations In 2025

Singapore is getting close to having self-driving vessels and remote-controlled ships on its sea waters. The country’s plan is to have a 5G network coverage over the region. This would help to facilitate maritime operations and communication. 

Singapore To Explore Remote-Controlled Ships

The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority and IMDA (Infocomm Media Development Authority) will collaborate on the project. The country aims to attain complete 5G dedicated coverage by mid-2025. 

This will allow Singapore to explore technologies such as autonomous maneuvers and remote control of ships. On August 30th, Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Senior Minister for Finance and Transport, stated that:

“The goal of the country is to attain total 5G coverage in its fairways, anchorages, boarding grounds, and terminals by mid-2025.”


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Also, a local telecommunications company, M1, will provide the 5G network service. While speaking at the 2022 Safety@Sea Conference, Chee said the country would gradually roll out the network across its port waters.

According to reports, a 5G devoted network is ten times quicker than a 4G network. Also, it can support more devices compared to 4G.

5G’s low latency, or the time delay between data transmissions, enables users to carry out critical tasks. Examples of such tasks include automated vehicle navigation, which needs real-time communication.

According to Chee, the network would also act as a testing ground for new marine technology. He continued that the country will also test innovative solutions to increase navigational and maritime safety. This would enhance research and growth in the field of marine technology.

Other Usage Of The 5G Network 

At the conference, the IMDA said this would make Singapore the first nation to provide specialized 5G coverage across the ocean. According to the agency, the 5G testing ground at sea would be the biggest of its kind for marine technology.

Initial initiatives for the testing ground would concentrate on the skilled specialists known as harbour pilots. They will remotely guide vessels within Singapore’s waterways.

Usually, ships approaching Singapore’s port with tonnages of 300 or more must have harbour pilots present to assist them with navigation. Also, the pilots must board boats from shore and climb up high ladders to enter the vessel.

However, the 5G connection will provide real-time visuals of the ships, allowing the pilots to manage the vessels remotely. As stated by Chee, this would enhance productivity and efficiency while reducing risk.

Other prospective initiatives might involve the use of drone deliveries. These drones would send parts needed to ships that require repair urgently. 

Mr Chee concluded that the country would launch another system next year. This system would continuously monitor vessels anchored in the country’s waters.


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