StarHub’s outdoor WiFi project receives an award for connectivity in telecommunications

It was recognised in the annual SBR Technology Excellence Awards.

Ranked the world’s most sustainable Wireless Telecommunications Service Provider and Singapore’s most sustainable Telco by Corporate Knights Global 100, StarHub Ltd. is committed to conducting its business sustainably, and hence came up with its Outdoor WiFi powered by 5G and solar energy.

The project first came to be after the National University of Singapore (NUS) implemented the COVID-19 Safe Management Measures which comprises a system that requires students and employees to be connected to the campus WiFi.

To complement its high-performance indoor wireless network, and with social distancing necessitating more outdoor spaces to be utilised, NUS needed an outdoor solution that could cover the vast open spaces within the campus. Furthermore, the traditional approach of laying underground power and fibre optic cables required for outdoor wireless coverage posed a huge obstacle as it is invasive, labour-and-resource-intensive, and very costly.

Understanding the situation and taking in all the requirements, StarHub developed and implemented Singapore’s first outdoor wireless campus 5G backhaul and WiFi.

In the pilot test, two units were installed to provide access points to broadcast NUS and NUS Student WiFi. The coverage is seamless, strong, and reliable, reaching as far as 80m. 

These were deployed efficiently from both resources and cost perspectives and supported NUS’ goal of becoming a smart, safe, and sustainable campus.

The actual onsite installation for each setup was completed over a rapid four working days. Each setup is self-sufficient and resource-efficient. It comprises a 5G router, solar charger, battery, and an IoT gateway housed securely within an enclosure, and solar panels.

For this project, the company was given the Connectivity – Telecommunications award in the SBR Technology Excellence Awards, hosted by Singapore Business Review.

The annual awards programme highlights technological innovations, recognising exceptional companies in Singapore that are riding the digital disruption wave and leading the technological revolution and digital journeys of their respective industries.

The SBR Technology Excellence Awards is part of the regional Asian Technology Excellence Awards now running in 50 countries.

In giving this award, the judging panel considered three major achievements of the project.

Firstly, it is 100% self-sustainable with solar panels powering all equipment, with enhancements for weather-resiliency and up-time in low light environments.

Secondly, its time-to-deploy was reduced by at least 50% with the elimination of laying underground conduits for power and fibre, also reducing associated resource investments.

Lastly, its total deployment costs were reduced by at least 50% compared to the traditional method of laying underground conduits for power and fibre.

The effectiveness and efficiency of the Outdoor WiFi have unlocked the potential for NUS to extend wireless coverage to up to 100% of campus grounds, even in hard-to-reach areas, enabling seamless connectivity indoors and outdoors: from lecture theatres to car parks and open field areas.

The adoption of such improvements can enable NUS to offer new ways of learning, improving competitiveness in education, research, and innovation.

To find out more about StarHub’s 5G solutions, please click here.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project:

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