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M1, Haidilao to set up trial 5G network at hot pot chain's new Marina Square outlet

M1 is teaming up with hot pot chain Haidilao to set up a trial 5G network for the restaurant's upcoming store at Marina Square, the telco announced in a press statement on Thursday. 

BT understands that the new outlet is slated to open before the end of the year, subject to renovation works.

This store will be equipped with self-developed smart machines such as an Intelligent Kitchen Management System (IKMS), a customised automatic soup base machine, and food delivery robots.

In addition, the hot pot chain's new outlet will also have a 5G experience corner that will leverage M1's 5G expertise and Huawei's technology for an "enhanced dining experience", where diners will be able to engage in interactive virtual and augmented reality e-gaming while waiting in line for their seats, M1 noted. 

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An M1 spokesman told BT on Thursday that the telco will first roll out the 5G experience trial corner, followed by the 5G IKMS, soup preparation and robotic food servers. 

Willis Sim, chief corporate sales and solutions officer at M1, said: "M1 has been developing and leveraging our 5G capabilities to support real-life applications across a range of industries for quite some time now. This will be our first 5G application in the F&B (food and beverage) and retail domain, and we are excited to partner with one of Singapore's favourite hot pot brands, Haidilao, to bring this smart experience to life."

Frank Li, branch manager of Haidilao Marina Square, added: "Customer experience has always been a top priority for us at Haidilao, and we are very excited to explore this new experience with M1 for our new store. 5G is enabling better experiences across industries, and we are happy to bring the trial of this technology to our restaurant."

M1's latest announcement comes as Singapore regulators are poised to award four 5G telecom licences, two more than previously planned, as Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran called for bids for the high-tech new spectrum on Thursday.