Singapore startup Skoolbo out to boost education for millions worldwide

SingaporeSINGAPORE startup Skoolbo said its game-based education platform, which runs on Microsoft Corp’s Azure PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) offering, has reached more than five million students in 22,000 schools globally over the past 12 months. Skoolbo aims to improve learning experiences, particularly in English and Mathematics, among children aged four to 10, Microsoft said in a statement.

New SkillsFuture portal to assess and match employees’ skills

SingaporeSingapore is building a portal for people to assess their skills, and match them with jobs and training courses. The web site, Individual Learning Portfolio (ILP), is a part of the SkillsFuture initiatives by the Workforce Development Agency to allow people to update their skills throughout their careers. The web site will be available in stages from 2017.

StarHub FY14 revenue inches up 1%, driven by equipment sales

SingaporeSTARHUB Ltd announced that total revenue for 2014 edged up 1% to S$2.36 billion thanks to higher revenue from the sales of equipment, driven by strong demand for the new iPhones, but the telco giant also saw a 1% dip in service revenue and a 17% plunge in broadband revenue. In announcing its results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and full year ended Dec 31 2014, StarHub said total revenue in Q4 increased 5% year-on-year (YoY) to S$647.4 million.

Cyber Security Agency to take preventive approach against attacks

SingaporeSingapore’s upcoming Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will focus on preventing online attacks, telling organisations to adopt cyber security measures early, said Minister for Communication and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim. The agency will promote cyber security-by-design, he said. “Cyber security should be an important consideration when companies design their systems and networks”, he said. “For many businesses, cyber security is an afterthought, often the last measure to be implemented after a system is installed, or strengthened only after a cyber attack has done its damage.”

Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists hail venture debt initiative

SingaporeSINGAPORE – Investment in the Singapore startup ecosystem proposed for Budget 2015 were welcomed by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (VCs) here, even as concerns over their limitation in scope and challenges in implementation lingered. The new venture debt programme – where the government will provide 50 per cent risk-sharing with banks to fund companies with “minimal collateral” – was one of the more monumental initiatives unveiled on Monday, according to those BT spoke to.

Zendesk opens Asia head office in Singapore

SingaporeSINGAPORE: As e-commerce continues to grow in the Asia-Pacific region, so too are the efforts of online merchants. In a bid to gain an edge over the competition, online vendors are providing new ways to connect with their customers in real time through services such as online chats. Seeking to capitalise on that, United States-based customer service software company Zendesk – which last year acquired Singapore live-chat start-up Zopim for US$29.8 million (S$40.2 million) – on Thursday (Feb 26) opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters on Commonwealth Drive.

Ericsson Partners with Bridge Alliance on the Internet of Things

SingaporeSwedish telecom company Ericsson recently announced its collaboration with Singapore-based business alliance Bridge Alliance to deploy its Device Connection Platform (DCP) for managing the Internet of Things (IoT). Ericsson plans to deploy the platform for Bridge Alliance’s 36 major mobile telecom operators in Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. “The partnership with the Bridge Alliance members to deploy the Ericsson DCP is a critical milestone to make the adoption of cellular services in IoT devices economically viable for device OEMs and enterprises,” said Anders Lindblad, Ericsson’s senior vice president of its Business Unit Cloud & IP.

Cisco commentary on Singapore’s Budget 2015

SingaporeAng Thiam Guan (T.G.), Managing Director for Cisco in Singapore and Brunei, shares his opinions on the recent announcements made during Singapore’s annual Budget statement on Monday (23 February 2015). In order for Singapore to retain its competitiveness on the global stage, it is critical for us to augment our innovativeness and value-creation initiatives with a future-ready workforce. In the coming years, our nation will have an immense need for skilled talents who are able to employ technologies that enable, analyse and protect connectivity as we strive to become the world’s Smart Nation.

Singapore govt pushes venture debt financing for startups, M&As, skills education

SingaporeSingapore has announced new measures to invest in innovation and modernize its economy. Finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam mentioned in his Budget speech on February 23 that the government has added “advanced robotics” and “additive manufacturing” – 3D printing in other words – to a list of areas Singapore should be a leader in. To support its ambition, it is starting a SkillsFuture program that will finance every Singaporean’s pursuit of new skills.

Singapore space startup Astroscale raises $7.7M series A round

SingaporeAstroscale, a Singapore-based startup developing satellites to remove space debris from Earth’s orbit, has raised a US$7.7 million series A round, it announced last week. Founded by Japanese entrepreneur Mitsunobu Okada, the company’s new round also consists of investors who are heavyweights in the Japanese tech industry.

MYTHIC submarine set to compete, from Maynmar

MyanmarCampana Group, based in Singapore with a Yangon subsidiary, will deliver international connectivity, a reliable submarine network and massive capacity at an economical price, U Myo Myint Ohn said. The firm’s MYTHIC cable project joins others currently in the works and aims to disrupt the effective monopoly state-owned incumbent Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) enjoys in doling out international capacity. The telco, as part of a consortium, currently runs the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable, which connects Myanmar to 33 other countries around the world. Soon, MPT will operate SEA-ME-WE 5, which will link up with 17 other countries.

E-commerce gains popularity in Singapore: FedEx Express

SingaporeE-commerce is gaining popularity in Singapore, revealed a recent study titled “Seizing The Cross-Border Opportunity” by global transportation company FedEx Express. Out of the 9,006 global online consumers surveyed, one fifth of the Singaporean respondents said that they allocated up to half of their monthly discretionary spending for online shopping. Clothes and clothing accessories were found to be the most popular items bought online in Singapore (61 percent), followed by consumer electronics (33 percent).

Microsoft launches fifth Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore

SingaporeMicrosoft yesterday (Feb 16) launched its new Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore, expanding its network of centres to five globally, including those in Beijing, Berlin, Tokyo and Washington. According to the tech giant, the new centre serves as a satellite extension of the Microsoft Cybercrime Centre in Redmond, USA, Microsoft’s headquarters for fighting cybercrime.

Singapore draws up rules for driverless cars

SingaporeSingapore is setting aside space to test autonomous vehicles (AV) on public roads and has set rules for how this technology can be tested safely. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and industrial estate planner JTC Corporation have selected a 6-km route in the One-North business park where applicants will be able to “test their vehicles’ navigation controls in a real-world environment”.

Singapore operators hit 4G targets ahead of timeline: IDA survey

SingaporeMOBILE network operators (MNOs) in Singapore have generally achieved significant nationwide street-level 4G service coverage for their respective networks, approximately 18 months ahead of a June 30 2016 timeline, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). The IDA began surveying MNOs 4G (Fourth Generation) network performance, with the aim of promoting greater awareness and transparency to consumers.

Targeting S’pore firms with $11m Johor data centre

MalaysiaA Malaysian company has invested around RM30 million (S$11 million) to build a cloud computing and data centre near Senai Airport in Johor, in the hope of attracting Singapore and southern Johor firms keen to lower their information-technology costs. Puncak Semangat, a company controlled by tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, said the 465 sq m centre will be ready by next year. Later, it will build an even bigger centre on 16,200 sq m of land at the nearby Senai Hi-Tech Park.

HP launches new SaaS solution for government mobile apps

SingaporeAs the mobile channel becomes an increasingly important access point for government services, HP has launched a new Software-as-a-Service solution to improve the way government agencies monitor their mobile apps. HP AppPulse Active monitors the performance of both native apps and browser-based apps, allowing IT departments to see service levels in real time – rather than when it is too late and a fault has already occurred.

Singapore Airlines takes tablet computing to new heights

SingaporeSingapore Airlines has taken tablet computing to new heights. The cabin crew of the world’s best airline is now using a tablet-based mobile application to deliver more personalised customer service. The application, called TCS CrewCollab Solution, jointly developed through a collaboration project by SIA and Tata Consultancy Services, enables the automation and streamlining of in-flight processes.

Singapore must take risks and innovate, says IDA exec

SingaporeThe Singapore Government must take risks and be comfortable knowing that some projects will not bring a return, Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chair of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has told FutureGov. Speaking in an interview, he said: “We do need to be comfortable that, in the pursuit of something great, sometimes things don’t work out as we planned.”

Singapore enters ‘high broadband’ threshold

SingaporeSingapore became the fourth Asia Pacific country to enter into the “high broadband” threshold, according to the Q2 2014 State of the Internet (SOTI) report released by Akamai Technologies. Fueled by a strong 24% increase from the previous quarter, users in Singapore now enjoy an average connection speed of above 10Mbps, putting the country in the top ranks with countries such as South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.