Supporting Corporate Sponsor

Wireless Connectivity in Port Waters: How Can We Enable Electronic Transactions and Data-Intensive Applications in Port Waters?

Key Focus Area:

Smart Port

Smart Ship

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is driving the digital transformation of the maritime industry and positioning our Hub Port and International Maritime Centre for the future.

Singapore has one of the most efficient and reliable ports in the world, but certain port and harbour craft operations and processes are still labour intensive, and paper based. These could be due to legacy practices, lack of technological solutions, or international/local regulatory issues. Without efficient, reliable, and secure broadband wireless connectivity in our port waters, many of these port operations will not be able to be further automated or performed electronically. Immediate use cases include digital bunkering, digital ship supplies, remote pilotage and drones operations.

MPA is prepared to provide regulatory sandbox environment for technology solutions that require exemptions to existing regulatory restrictions where safeguards are in place.


Conventional wireless communications such as Satellite Communication (Satcomm), 4G (and 5G progressively in 2024 and 2025) and AIS have the following limitations:

  1. Line of sight (LOS) issues, e.g., service provider’s harbour craft (bunker supplier, ship supplies provider, towage provider) communication signals can be blocked by another bigger serviced ship.
  2. 4G/5G has limited range and reliability in port water environment
  3. AIS has limited bandwidth and real-time capability to deliver content rich applications.
  4. Very few locations in our port waters for installation of base station.
  5. Satcomm has much higher costs (both CAPEX and OPEX) and poorer latency than 4G/5G communication, where the low latency is necessary for certain applications e.g., remote pilotage. Moreover, most of the harbour craft does not have satellite communication equipment installed.

Desired Outcomes

The proposed innovation should provide a holistic way for systems, applications, machine and personnel at sea to carry out electronic transactions, regulatory submissions, workflows, signatures, documentations, and forms filling efficiently, reliably and securely between service provider vessels and service consumer ships in our port waters. Overhead costs, new installation or modification should be kept minimal especially for ocean going ships which operate globally and adopt global standards.

Call for Proposals for this Innovation Opportunity is now closed.