Harnessing 5G to advance learning, research and industry solutions

The MOU between NUS and StarHub will lead to the development of 5G-powered artificial intelligence, which will allow drones to inspect the exterior of buildings.

NUS Design and Environment (SDE) is developing an industry solution that will allow inspectors to check building facades without having to scale heights and risk their lives.

The solution will utilise drones and 5G-powered artificial intelligence (AI).

5G virtual reality (VR) systems will also soon allow SDE students to attend virtual classes remotely, immersing themselves in environments to understand the fundamentals of measurement in building elements and facilities.

These innovations covering education, research and industry all rely on the secret sauce of 5G networks – a new frontier in telecommunications that offers ultra-reliable low-latency communications and significant improvements in bandwidth performance. This will enable the VR and AI solutions to interact seamlessly without lag or signal dropouts.


From left: Mr Thomas Eugene Chia, StarHub's Vice President for Enterprise Sales & ICT Engagement; Prof Lee; and Mr Hor after signing the MOU on 12 December to pilot 5G VR and AI solutions at SDE4

To advance the utilisation and development of 5G, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on 12 December between NUS and StarHub, the Singapore-based telecommunications provider.

The two partners will harness the latest 5G technologies to design and test advanced VR and AI solutions that will enhance learning, advance cutting-edge research, and address industry needs and challenges. These will be powered by StarHub’s 5G network.

The MOU will also lead to the launch of a new dedicated 5G laboratory hosted at the NUS SDE4 building — Singapore’s first newly-built net-zero energy building. The lab is currently under construction and will be operational early next year.

“The School is excited to pilot the experimental use of 5G technology in the SDE4 living laboratory to support human-centric research and advance education initiatives. This is in line with out Well and Green agenda where we endeavour to conduct research on sustainable buildings concurrently with the wellness of occupants in mind, as they interact with the built environment,” said Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of NUS SDE.

Mr Tommy Hor, NUS Chief Information Technology Officer, said that the collaboration with StarHub enables NUS to seize the opportunities provided by 5G as a key enabling technology, to create practical solutions that will benefit the University and the wider community.

The NUS-StarHub partnership marks the University’s first step towards enabling the adoption of 5G.

See press release.