Waterfront lifestyle at Keppel Bay gets 5G security boost

A robot at the marina managed by Keppel Land will allow operations staff to monitor the lobby without having to be physically present. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Keppel Bay's waterfront and yachting lifestyle has received a security boost with the deployment of surveillance robot and camera technology, powered by 5G mobile, telco M1 and property developer Keppel Land announced on Wednesday (Aug 25).

This and related initiatives at the Marina at Keppel Bay are among the first commercial uses of 5G here that are no longer in the testing phase and go beyond basic telecommunications, such as faster mobile Internet downloads.

Using M1's 5G network, which is faster and has more bandwidth than 4G, a robot at the marina managed by Keppel Land will allow operations staff to monitor the lobby without having to be physically present. It can also help visitors with concierge services such as booking taxis.

Dock patrols are also planned, with a robot to be deployed for this in the first quarter of next year.

The surveillance robot is equipped with tools to help it manage incidents and, among other things, allow marina staff to communicate quickly if an incident happens.

Local security firm Oneberry Technologies, which provided the robot, said that with 5G, the machine is able to send over high-resolution videos for real-time analysis at the backend, such as for identifying security threats quickly and alerting marina staff.

But if 4G were used instead, it might not be possible to send over videos at a similarly high resolution with low latency, or little lag. So, video analysis becomes harder with 4G.

Other machines could also be deployed at the marina in the future to do dock inspections and surveillance from the water.

They could also be used to maintain and monitor the cleanliness of the area, and automatically collect garbage floating in the water.

M1 said this would help cut the resources needed to maintain water conditions at the marina.

A 5G surveillance camera has been installed near the docks too, and it can alert staff if unauthorised boats enter the marina. This is done using technology that can automatically analyse the vessels and recognise registered boats.

Marina staff can also perform safety checks and maintenance duties with the aid of a 5G-connected headset that has a camera. Keppel Land estimated that doing so might cut inspection times by half.

This is partly because the headset allows staff to focus on inspections without needing to take notes on paper or tablets because the voice-activated headset can record inspection findings.

An autonomous robot with 5G camera scanning and collecting garbage in the waters of the marina. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

It also helps eliminate human errors with manually recording the checks, which Keppel Land said is important in building trust with yacht owners.

With the 5G headsets, marina staff can also relay high-resolution videos of what they see on location in real time to colleagues, and join videoconferences to get remote help. The headgear can also analyse the footage it captures to spot and alert staff of safety issues.

5G also benefits boat owners directly. With 5G, many of them can, at the same time, do video-streaming or conferencing in their yachts parked at the marina with little lag.

Before that, when 4G was used, video jitter and lag could occur.

The 5G network used to power the data transfers of the various applications at Keppel Bay is called a 5G "standalone" network, meaning it uses dedicated 5G equipment.

It differs from the network launched last year called a 5G "non-standalone" network that relies partly on 4G gear.

The benefit of a standalone network is that it offers ultra-low latency and increased network capacity. This means that more devices can be connected to the network with little lag.

Operations staff performing hands-free safety checks wearing 5G headgear. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Compared with 4G, 5G promises 10 times faster mobile surfing speeds and the ability to connect many more times the number of devices.

For instance, a 3GB movie - about an hour's duration in high definition - will take around 40 seconds to download on average over a 5G network.

The 5G marina announcement by M1 and Keppel Land, both members of the Keppel Group, is part of the telco's roll-out of 5G enterprise offerings.

In July, M1 had announced the launch of its 5G standalone network with 50 per cent coverage across Singapore.

Earlier this month, StarHub said it was trialling its 5G standalone network for consumers. StarHub and M1 share the same 5G airwave network but each uses its own 5G infrastructure.

Singapore's biggest telco Singtel, which runs one of the country's two 5G networks, said in May that it had launched its 5G standalone network.

M1 said on Wednesday that it would partner businesses across various sectors, including finance, retail and manufacturing, for 5G-enabled ATMs, unmanned shopping experiences with video and data analytics capabilities, and industrial applications using Internet-connected devices.

For retail, M1 is also planning to work with retailers to create digital replicas of their shops so they can manage their outlets using 5G.

The telco will also continue to collaborate with institutes of higher learning to explore new 5G uses.

M1 chief executive Manjot Singh Mann said Wednesday's marina launch "is a testament to our promise to deliver innovative solutions that redefine how businesses can leverage 5G to improve efficiency while meeting customers' needs".

"More importantly, it heralds the beginning of our journey towards more viable commercial-ready 5G solutions that will advance our digital economy," he said.

Mr Louis Lim, Keppel Land's chief executive, said the marina roll-out is among the property developer's ongoing initiatives "which seek to push the envelope of digitalisation and sharpen our focus on customer centricity and engagement".

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