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Singapore’s M1 to trial 5G for unmanned aircraft with Airbus


Singapore’s M1 is working with aerospace manufacturer Airbus to conduct coastal 5G standalone (SA) network trials for the safe operation of unstaffed aircraft.

Other partners in the consortium are Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The tests will take place at the Singapore Maritime Drone Estate and aim to ensure unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can operate safely and efficiently during all phases of their flight, including operations in designated drone-fly zones. 

M1 will also work with Singaporean company TeamOne Technologies Pte Ltd on the design and development of its aeronautical certified 5G SA communication modem for urban air mobility (UAM) operations.

The modem will be tested and optimised during the trials.

M1 and Airbus have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct connectivity trials for in-land areas, enabling them to address the growing interest in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for UAM for other industries.

“Next age of aviation”

Manjot Singh Mann, Chief Executive Officer, M1, commented, “M1 has been a front runner in supporting the maritime industry to drive adoption and application of smart 5G technologies, and we are very pleased to be working with IMDA and MPA to innovate more 5G use cases in a live environment.

“By bringing together the strong domain expertise of both M1 and Airbus, this partnership serves as a real testbed for shaping the future of Urban Air Mobility technologies by utilising [an] advanced 5G SA network.”

Isabel Del Pozo De Poza, Head of UTM, Airbus, added, “This collaboration will establish key cellular 5G performance metrics and requirements to enable UAS to safely integrate and fly in national airspace systems. We look forward to combining our aerospace and UTM knowledge with M1’s technical expertise in the cellular industry, to enable the next age of aviation.”