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IMDA, M1, MPA, Airbus to conduct coastal 5G network trials for urban air mobility

They aim to ensure unmanned aerial vehicles can operate safely and efficiently.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), M1 Limited and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have partnered with Airbus and to conduct coastal 5G standalone (SA) network trials at the Singapore Maritime Drone Estate, a press release revealed.

This aims to ensure unmanned aerial vehicles can operate safely and efficiently during all phases of their flights, including operations in the designated drone fly-zones. M1 will also collaborate with TeamOne Technologies to support the development of local capabilities within Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises.

TeamOne has plans to design and develop the world’s first aeronautical certified 5G SA communication modem for urban air mobility (UAM) operations. This 5G modem will be
tested and optimised during the trials.

In addition to the coastal trials, M1 and Airbus have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct connectivity trials for in-land areas. All necessary permits and approvals will be sought from relevant agencies prior to the conduct of any flight trials.

M1 will provide 4G and 5G network planning, including data collection for performance and coverage analysis of mobile network in the operating areas, network parameter optimisation and implementation of interference minimisation methods. They will also assess the use of 4G and 5G technologies to provide enhanced geo-location positioning information for all phases of UAS flight using network-based information, which claims to be more precise than the current Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technologies.

Airbus, on its part, will provide a fleet of UAS for safe-flight testing and commit its expertise in the integration of the unmanned aircraft for the trials. The establishment of a standard will open up the possibility for safe adoption of 5G as a core technology used in unmanned aircraft designs and operations. 

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