The Singapore government is ramping up its research and development efforts for 6G, with investment into a 6G research laboratory at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
Aiming to reach full 5G coverage by 2025, Singapore has continued to invest in 6G research and development as part of its goal to become a global leader in digital innovation. The country has been investing heavily in 5G and artificial intelligence in recent years.
The 6G research lab at SUTD will explore new applications of technologies such as artificial intelligence, edge computing, and network virtualization.
Professor Tony Quek, Head, Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) at SUTD, said in an interview with CNA that the lab will explore several 6G capabilities that are otherwise not achievable by 5G technology.
The Singapore government’s investment in 6G research is part of a larger US$50 million program under the newly launched Future Communications Research and Development Programme (FCP).
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat announced that the FCP will invest in game-changing communications technologies for the next generation at the Asia Tech Summit in mid-July last year.
Under Singapore’s “Smart Nation” initiative, the government has been working to harness technology to improve the lives of citizens and businesses. 6G technology is expected to play a role in this.
“We think 5G has got a long runway at least over the next ten to 15 years. In the future, there’ll be 6G and other technologies that come into play,” said Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority in an interview with CNA. “In order to make sure that Singapore is ready to capture this growth strategically, we are making early bets by investing in research and development and international partnerships so that Singapore is on the table and has the capabilities when 6G comes along.”
Singapore joins other countries in the Asia-Pacific region like India and Vietnam that have joined the race towards 6G adoption. In 2021, Singapore joined 6G Flagship, a Finnish-led consortium that is conducting 6G research with the aim of contributing to global standardization and regulatory development.