If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t think too much about mobile networks or the term “5G”.
“My internet connection on my phone is fast and it works,” is about the extent to which my interest in such things stretches.
So imagine my trepidation about having to do a sponsored article on Singtel’s 5G Standalone (SA) network.
The only thing softening the blow was that I would be able to enjoy a day out at Sentosa while writing the article.
Here’s a spoiler though: While I started the day relatively ignorant about 5G, I ended the day genuinely excited about it becoming the standard for mobile connectivity.
Singtel, 5G, and Sentosa
So what does Sentosa have anything to do with 5G and Singtel?
Well, Singapore’s island resort has partnered with the telco to power attractions at its new lifestyle destination Southside, located at the Siloso-area of Sentosa.
One of these attractions is the 5G-powered night e-Racing — a one of a kind radio-controlled night race experience that Singtel promises will give visitors a rush of adrenaline.
Admission to the attraction — whose radio-controlled cars can hit speeds of 58km/h — can be gained by dining at Southside.
The way the attraction works is that users can control the car remotely through the power of 5G in a booth 50m away from the race track. A camera mounted onto the car gives users the feeling of sitting right in the driver’s seat.
Here’s what the race track looked like:
And here’s the booths where you’re controlling the cars from:
As soon as I got my hands on the controls one thing was clear — even though the booth was a distance away from the track the cars were very responsive to each nudge of the steering wheel and every step on the gas pedal.
Outside the booth, each maneuver I made with the controls was instantly and seamlessly reflected in the movements of the radio-controlled car on the race track.
According to Singtel, that's due to the high bandwidth, low latency capabilities of its 5G network through which the whole set-up was being run.
In other words, 5G allows for ultra-fast connection with incredible responsiveness.
It was a novel way to flex just how powerful a 5G network can be with its incredibly fast, consistent, responsive, and secure connection.
It also opens the doors for future applications that might revolutionise our everyday lives.
“5G networks will help spur innovation, create exciting business and job opportunities, and position Singapore as a leading digital economy,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, according to The Straits Times.
In a news release, Singtel theorised that 5G could facilitate the introduction of self-driving cars and near real-time immersive entertainment.
Meanwhile, IBM predicts that 5G networks will drive an increasing uptake of Internet of Things applications; automating many tasks that till now could only be accomplished by laborious elbow grease, or supercharging the delivery of information from user to user.
5G for regular activities
But how about applications for my life now?
Despite my foray into remote control car racing, it was still a workday for Mothership employees.
Emails and queries from colleagues could be ignored only briefly, and so it presented a chance to test out the power of 5G on regular work-related tasks.
Since I was in Sentosa, why not take advantage of the scenery and finish my work while relaxing on Siloso Beach?
So I connected my laptop to the 5G network by using the hotspot function on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G which was kindly loaned to me by Singtel and away I went.
As dreary as following up on email threads and making edits to work you’ve already gone over too many times was, doing all that with the setting sun in my peripheral vision made for a nice end of the day.
Of course such menial tasks posed no challenge to a 5G network, though the next item on my agenda offered a sterner test.
A video call to check in with my boss might be a little choppy and pixelated under different circumstances, but with 5G it proved a smooth one.
The quality of the connection even meant that I could give my boss a good idea of the scenery I was enjoying.
In addition, Singtel’s Productivity Pass add-on — available for S$9.90 on a one-month minimum contract — gives customers unlimited data for Zoom video and voice calls, which means you can indulge in such calls whenever you feel like it.
Something that readers with a thirst for entertainment might be interested in is how 5G might have an impact on their streaming of shows.
With time to kill on the way back, I put that to test, checking out content from Netflix and YouTube.
The result is crystal clear and sharp 4K streaming, without any buffering at all.
Unfortunately, screenshots don’t do it justice so you’ll just have to try it out for yourself.
According to The Straits Times, Gan plans for half of Singapore to have 5G coverage by the end of 2022, with the whole island to have access to the network by 2025.
Since receiving its licence to operate a 5G network, Singtel has also deployed over a thousand 5G sites across Singapore in strategic locations such as Orchard Road, the Central Business District, Marina Bay, HarbourFront and Sentosa, as well as major residential areas including Sengkang, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Jurong East, and Woodlands.
It means that soon we can all be enjoying the benefits of Singapore’s fastest network yet.
Diners at Southside can enjoy a one-time redemption of a 10-minute 5G-powered night e-Racing experience. All they need to do is to present the dining receipt at the reservation kiosk.
Singtel is also running other 5G-powered attractions.
Catch SG’s first underwater 5G livestream of the S.E.A Aquarium, across four different locations in Singapore – [email protected] Centre, Singtel Shop Waterway Point, Singtel Shop Tampines Mall and Singtel Shop Comcentre.
Hidden Gem Hunt sees you following clues around the resort island for a chance to win a three-day-two-night staycation at Sentosa.
In addition, the #PowerUpwithSingtel5G photo contest gives participants a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G tablet. All you have to do is capture your ultra moment, post it to Facebook or Instagram and upload a screenshot of the post here.
More information on Singtel’s Sentosa attractions can be found here.
This Singtel-sponsored article allowed the writer to finally get away from his desk