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M1 doubles down on maritime 5G

Seafarers will be able to access telemedicine services while out at sea, among other maritime 5G applications M1 is rolling out in Singapore’s waters

M1 is doubling down on enterprise 5G with offerings aimed at the maritime industry, as it looks to bolster its revenue stream from commercial 5G applications.

Last year, the Singapore telco embarked on a multi-year project to provide ubiquitous 5G standalone (SA) offshore coverage for the southern coast of Singapore, including the surrounding waters of the southern islands.

Through its partnership between M1 and Fullerton Health, seafarers will be able to access 5G-powered telemedicine services while working onboard vessels. This includes live teleconsultations with shore-based healthcare professionals and 5G-enabled drones to deliver medicine to ship crews.

M1 said the telemedicine service will be formally launched in July 2023 and made available to seafarers and employees from shipping companies in Singapore – both on land and in the anchorage – as long as they are connected to M1’s 5G network.

Leveraging the same network, vessels out at sea will also be able to deploy real-time video surveillance systems for onboard security and receive footage as they would on land.

The capabilities in M1’s maritime 5G offerings are pre-tested and part of a “solution-in-a-box” suite that makes it easier to integrate and deploy 5G applications in the maritime industry.

Similar offerings will be developed for other industries in future.

Read more about 5G in APAC

  • The number of 5G connections in APAC will grow to more than 400 million by 2025, but a usage gap due to the lack of digital skills and affordability will still exist.
  • India’s spectrum auction marks the start of larger scale deployments of 5G in the subcontinent, but telcos will need to find a way to address high infrastructure costs and monetise their investments.
  • 5G adoption in Australia is taking place in the industrial arena and other sectors, but telcos will need to transform themselves and overcome cost challenges to drive wider adoption.
  • Singapore’s public sector organisations are testing the use of 5G connectivity to remotely operate an autonomous vehicle for road-sweeping, among other use cases.

Besides onboard surveillance and telemedicine, the suite will also enable maritime organisations to detect risk and forecast accidents based on past data using machine learning; inspect critical assets using autonomous robots and improve worker productivity with tools such as smart glasses.

“M1 continues to double down on our efforts to co-create and introduce viable 5G-enabled commercial solutions to further revolutionise Singapore’s maritime operations and make maritime 5G a reality,” said M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann.

“This launch is a testament to our promise to deliver readily available innovative 5G solutions that can be adopted and rolled out easily by businesses to improve business efficiency,” he added. “Going forward, M1 will continue to strengthen our position as a forerunner in 5G enterprise solutions by partnering with more businesses across various industries.”

Singapore is one of the first few countries in the world to have nationwide 5G standalone coverage, with significant progress in the commercialisation of 5G enterprise applications.

Kiren Kumar, deputy CEO for development at the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), said: “At the heart of Singapore’s digital future, our infrastructure connects all of us and powers new and exciting products and services. IMDA will continue to support our businesses to experiment, innovate and commercialise the technologies of tomorrow.”

Besides maritime, retail is another industry that has caught the eye of telcos for enterprise 5G use cases. In February 2023, Singtel revealed it is working with Apple’s enterprise solution partners to deliver a slew of 5G-enabled offerings for retailers that take advantage of its Paragon multi-access edge computing platform.

The offerings will leverage the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone and iPad to help retailers streamline backend operations, such as inventory management, and improve customer experience through technologies such as augmented reality.

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