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IBM, Samsung, M1, IMDA collaborate to bring industrial uses for 5G

By Liu Hongzuo - on 6 May 2020, 12:14pm

IBM, Samsung, M1, IMDA collaborate to bring industrial uses for 5G

Photo by Ali Pazani from Pexels.

Local info comms regulator IMDA, together with international technology companies IBM and Samsung, and Singaporean telco M1 are now collaborating to expand the 5G enterprise ecosystem in Singapore using a technological innovation trial designed to benefit small-to-medium businesses ultimately.

While it's far from the first-ever 5G trial in Singapore, the official announcement said that this is Singapore's first 5G trial for "Industry 4.0", the collective term for next-generation industrial processes based on emerging technologies.

To demonstrate the practicality and impact of 5G in the business and enterprise context, IMDA, IBM, Samsung, and M1 are joining hands to showcase how 5G-based solutions can be implemented to enable significant improvements at scale. More specifically, the joint trial and showcase will dabble in 5G use cases for smart manufacturing processes.

The trial will commence in Q2 2020 at IBM Singapore's Centre of Competency's Smart Factory Operating Model. These trials are meant to help design, test, and benchmark workable 5G-enabled enterprise solutions that can be used across different sectors. 

The showcase will also demonstrate how 5G's fast data transfer and response times are crucial to complementing other forward-looking technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Internet of Things (IoT). IBM and Samsung will evaluate the practicality these trials and develop them as solutions for enterprises across different industries in Singapore.

The three main showcase areas include:

  • Using 5G and AI-based image recognition and video analytics to conduct an automated visual inspection
  • Using AI-enabled acoustic insights to showcase improved equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance
  • Using augmented reality for assembly and debugging to improve productivity and quality of manufacturing

Using both IBM's systems and Red Hat's open solutions infrastructure, IBM will be responsible for implementing and testing the use cases. IMDA will share the learnings and solutions with small-to-medium businesses. Samsung, as the network and mobile solutions provider, together with M1, as the telco provider, offers the 5G network's framework, along with the know-how of rolling out these solutions across Singapore and other countries.

Below are the statements from the key partners involved in the 5G trials for smart manufacturing use cases.

"5G will be the backbone of Singapore's Digital Economy, strengthening our national competitiveness and reinforcing our position as a global business and connectivity hub. We are excited to work with IBM, Samsung and M1 to develop 5G capabilities and innovative use-cases, and look forward to sharing the learnings with the industry to help them build new capabilities, transform their businesses and tap new opportunities. We are committed to co-investing with the industry, and welcome all companies to join us on our 5G journey," said Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA

"We want to complement Singapore's Smart Nation and Digital Economy efforts and empower enterprises and industry players with a robust and versatile 5G launch-pad through this trial. This will allow businesses to leverage digital technologies to create next-generation solutions and be responsive to a rapidly changing market and 5G adoption in Singapore. IBM has built industry-leading hybrid cloud, AI and security capabilities underpinned by deep industry expertise. With support from IMDA and our strategic partners Samsung and M1, this collaboration will seed Singapore's 5G capabilities and strengthen its position as a leading industrial innovation hub, and move us closer in fulfilling our Industry 4.0 vision," said Martin Chee, Managing Director, IBM Singapore

"These are exciting times for the manufacturing industry. Already at the forefront of digital transformation, disruptive technologies and digitalization are now opening up new and unprecedented possibilities for the sector. New technologies will confer on tomorrow's factories which will depend on ultra-reliable and low latency communication between machines, sensors, databases and workers' mobile devices. Singapore has long been a leader in fostering innovation, and this 5G Industry 4.0 program is yet another validation of their technology leadership. By combining Samsung's end-to-end 5G Standalone (SA) network platform - including phones and devices at the edge, we are witnessing groundbreaking new Industry 4.0 capabilities for enterprise clients. More importantly, work and productivity aside, 5G will be a key tool in entertaining and connecting people. We are excited to be partnering with IBM, IMDA and M1 to help make the promise of 5G a reality today and showcase this in Singapore," said KC Choi, Executive Vice President & Global Head of B2B Business, Samsung Electronics

"We are very pleased to partner with IBM, Samsung and IMDA for Singapore's first 5G Industry 4.0 trial. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with leading industry players to develop, test and roll-out innovative 5G-enabled industry 4.0 solutions that will enhance smart manufacturing processes. Through this partnership, we hope to strengthen our in-house engineering capabilities in harnessing state-of-the-art 5G standalone (SA) technology for enabling hyper-connectivity, end-to-end network slicing, ultra-low latency, highly reliable and secured communications. With the recent award of one of Singapore's two nationwide 5G licences, we will build a cutting-edge 5G network infrastructure and bring new consumer, enterprise and government use cases to the market as soon as the ecosystem matures, which we are certain will help bring Singapore's Digital Economy forward." said Denis Seek, Chief Technical Officer, M1