By Catherine Sbeglia
Singaporean operator M1 and Airbus are trailing the safety and efficiency of 5G to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in real-world environments. In collaboration with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) the trial will run on M1’s 5G standalone network at the Singapore Maritime Drone Estate.
Additionally, M1 will collect data to assess the performance and coverage of mobile network in the operating areas, as well as carry out network parameter optimization and the implementation of interference minimization methods.
Throughout the trial, 4G and 5G will be evaluated as technologies to enhance geo-location positioning during all phases of unmanned aircraft systems flight using network-based data. M1 claimed cellular technology will be more precise than current Global Navigation Satellite Systems technologies.
M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann commented that the M1 and Airbus partnership will serve as “a real testbed for shaping the future of urban air mobility technologies by utilizing advanced 5G standalone network.”
“By bringing together the strong domain expertise of both M1 and Airbus, this partnership serves as a real test bed for shaping the future of Urban Air Mobility technologies by utilizing advanced 5G SA network,” Mann said.
For its part, Airbus will provide a fleet of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for safe-flight testing, as well as its knowledge to help ensure that the UAS flight operations meet safety and regulatory requirements.
Airbus’s head of unmanned traffic management, Isabel Del Pozo De Poza, said the trials “will establish key cellular 5G performance metrics and requirements to enable unmanned aircraft systems to safely integrate and fly in national airspace systems.”
Another player involved in the unmanned aerial vehicles trials, local Singaporean business TeamOne Technologies, will design and build an aeronautical certified 5G communication modem for urban air mobility operations, which will would be tested and optimized during the trials.
“IMDA is pleased to see tremendous interest by companies to develop innovative 5G use-cases. It is especially encouraging to see SMEs such as TeamOne playing a role in 5G innovation, and I would like to encourage other enterprises big and small to join us in building an open and inclusive 5G ecosystem,” said chief executive, IMDA, Tan Kiat How.