Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), has launched the country’s first physical lab dedicated to research on technologies that would make the next iteration of mobile telecommunications technology, 6G, possible.
Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Josephine Teo, said the lab, Future Communications Connectivity (FCC) Lab, would look to combine 6G research and development (R&D) with SUTD’s AI Mega Centre.
Teo said the lab was mandated to lead Singapore into the “next round of communication and connectivity technologies”.
She said it would help unlock “opportunities and breakthroughs” in leading cutting-edge research to “support emerging technologies such as holographic communications” and it is the “first physical lab in the region to integrate R&D in AI and 6G”.
The FCCLab is part of Singapore’s $70 million Future Communications Research & Development Programme (FCP).
FCP is hosted by SUTD and supported by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF), under its Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) efforts.
Supported by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), the FCP will coordinate multidisciplinary research efforts across the RIE ecosystem, with Research Institutes (RIs), Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and other RIE efforts.
As the host institution, SUTD will lead collaborations across the Singapore ecosystem - Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
An SUTD spokesperson said currently, 20 FCP grant projects have been awarded by SUTD for both research and translation.
The research projects focus on the areas of multi-access edge computing, network orchestration, non-terrestrial networks, and security, while the translation projects are based on use cases with a thematic focus on innovative mobility capabilities for air, land and sea applications.
FCP has also supported 14 Masters-level scholarships for local students to pursue research and translations in future communications technologies, the spokesperson said.
Singapore has also forged 6G partnerships with leading 6G institutions such as Finland’s 6G Flagship, and the Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences.
Upgrading fibre broadband
Talking about connectivity, Teo said Singapore was planning to upgrade fibre broadband speeds in Singapore by “around 10-fold” from the one gigabit per second (Gbps) standard among Singapore households, 98 percent of whom are on broadband connectivity plans.
She noted that South Korea has an “ambitious goal” of reaching 50 percent adoption of 10 Gbps services by end-2022 and the Philippines has started a pilot for 10Gbps-capable fibre connectivity.
“Blockchain-enabled Web3 applications, developments in AR/VR and the metaverse, all demand greater bandwidth,” Teo said.