Singapore to Launch the First 6G R&D Lab in Southeast Asia

To enhance Singapore’s future communications and connectivity capabilities and talent, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has teamed with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), one of the world’s premier scientific research universities in telecommunications.

In anticipation of Singapore’s 6G future, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo launched SUTD’s Future Communications Connectivity (FCC) Lab, the region’s first physical 6G lab, which will also try to bring 6G R&D and SUTD’s AI Mega Centre together.

“SUTD is pleased to partner IMDA, to progress the industry’s research and educational institutions for talent development in Singapore’s wireless communications ecosystem. We look forward to accelerating the research translation of future communications technologies,” says Professor Chong Tow Chong, President, SUTD.

FCCLab will seek to unleash breakthroughs in 6G research and support developing technologies such as holographic communications and advanced sensing capabilities to enable the next generation of self-driving cars and drones.

According to Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA, the breakthroughs would not be conceivable without consistent investment and a focus on the next frontier. They are thrilled to be collaborating with SUTD to establish Southeast Asia’s first 6G Lab.

This is the beginning of their efforts to capitalise on the promise of future communications technology and become a global hub of excellence.

The FCCLab is part of Singapore’s S$70 million Future Communications Research & Development Programme and is located on the SUTD campus (FCP). The National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) is funding FCP as part of its Research, Innovation, and Enterprise (RIE) initiatives, with SUTD serving as the host institution.

FCP will coordinate diverse research efforts across the RIE ecosystem, with Research Institutes (RIs), Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), and other RIE efforts.

FCCLab Testbed will adhere to 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP1) and Open RAN Standards to facilitate the straightforward evaluation of research outputs. Individually replaceable network components permit customised study.

SUTD, as the host university, will lead collaborations across the Singapore ecosystem, including A*STAR, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

SUTD has currently awarded 20 FCP grant projects for both research and translation. The research projects are focused on multi-access edge computing, network orchestration, non-terrestrial networks, and security, whereas the translation projects are centred on use cases and have a thematic focus on new mobility capabilities for air, land, and sea applications.

FCP has also provided 14 Masters-level scholarships for local students to pursue research and translations in future communications technologies to boost the pipeline of Singaporean talent.

Singapore has already formed 6G agreements with premier 6G institutes throughout the world, including Finland’s 6G Flagship and the Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences. SUTD is also collaborating with both local and multinational corporations as part of the FCP programme.

Moreover, the 5G communications networks are meant to be the backbone of digital transformation and make it possible for all industries to make huge technological changes.

5G is anticipated to offer enhanced mobile broadband and mission-critical internet of things (IoT) bringing the internet of everything, everywhere. While 5G is being implemented, it is crucial to consider the gaps left by 5G and begin developing 6G technologies to fill them.

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