Exclusive Interview: Singapore’s Smart Nation Minister

Singapore“Independent Singapore has always had to think in strategic terms, because we were always facing existential challenges,” says Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Smart Nation Minister. A small city state surrounded by vast – and once hostile – neighbours, Singapore always had to strive to survive. It has done so by riding a wave of globalisation; constantly seeking out new opportunities to differentiate itself.


Exclusive: Inside Singapore’s preparations to become a Smart Nation

SingaporeSteve Leonard sips an espresso, but there’s enough excitement without caffeine. The Executive Deputy Chairman of Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is setting out the country’s vision for the future of public services. “You can put a chip under your skin that says: ‘Here’s what my body is doing today’,” like a car engine giving feedback to the dashboard. “We can do that, so imagine the implications for how we provide healthcare for the future.”


Singapore plans to build green data centre technology hub

SingaporeSingapore plans to build an innovation hub to demonstrate emerging technologies that could improve the energy efficiency of data centres. The green data centre innovation hub will allow for experiments and showcase proof of concepts for the latest energy efficiency technologies. A request for proposal for the hub will go out by the third quarter of the year, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said. The initiative is part of a Green Data Centre Innovation Programme to assess emerging technologies that could improve data centres’ energy performance.


How Singapore’s ConnectNPay is helping stir up Myanmar’s financial sector

SingaporeSince Myanmar opened up its economy in 2010, after one of the most brutal dictatorships in Asia, capitalism has been on the rise. The country’s abundant natural resources, strategic location between Asia’s powers India and China, and its largely untapped market of 60 million people have caught the interest of foreign investors. Singapore-based startup Leo Tech is one of those trying to navigate Myanmar’s spurting, but still opaque, business environment. Leo Tech launched its umbrella brand for financial tech, ConnectNPay, in 2014, along with the bid of several companies like German group Rocket Internet to jumpstart ecommerce in Myanmar.


Singtel to launch next-gen GPON pilot, 10Gbps service for residential customers

SingaporeSINGAPORE Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) said it will be soon be deploying next-generation GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) on its Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. The service will be offered to a selected group of customers during the pilot phase that will begin in the next quarter. Singtel plans to make the service available to all fibre customers in the later part of the year. The technology will give customers the option of a 10Gbps fibre broadband service, useful for applications such as running multiple 4K video sessions, where users will enjoy sharper pictures and richer colours.


Indonesia turns to satellite internet to fix broadband holes

IndonesiaIndonesian satellite service provider BigNet announced today that it signed a US$78 million, long-term agreement with Singapore-based Kacific Broadband Satellites. The goal is to bring a new form of high-speed broadband service to Indonesia starting in 2017. Kacific aims to beam signals from its satellites to cover the entire archipelago, with emphasis on providing good quality, affordable internet to developing areas in East Indonesia.


Hutchison Whampoa To Sell 33% UK Telecom Assets For GBP3.1 Billion

Hong KongHong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which just finished its acquisition of UK carrier O2 and integrated its UK telecom assets, announced that the company has entered into agreements with multiple investors who will acquire stakes totaling 33% in the combined businesses of Three and O2 UK for a total consideration of GBP3.1 billion. According to a report published by Hutchison Whampoa, the investors are Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC of Singapore, Limpart Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, CDPQ of Quebec, Canada and BTG Pactual of Brazil.


SingTel boosts Optus capex to fight fixed-line, 4G rivals

AustraliaOptus parent SingTel will boost its investment in the telco to S$1.9 billion (A$1.8 billion) over the coming year to improve Optus’s mobile network and increase its share in the fixed-line market in the face of competition from a merged TPG-iiNet. Optus today reported its full-year results for FY14, revealing stable net profit – up one percent to $841 million – and a five percent jump in EBITDA $2.6 billion.


Singapore is an example of the gold standard in Smart Governance, says expert

SingaporeAccording to Don Pressley, Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, Singapore offers an excellent example of government, society and industry working together to advance the digital nation agendas. In that sense, Singapore offers the gold standard of Smart Government. Pressley should know. He has been with Booz Allen Hamilton for many years, the leading provider of management consulting, technology, and engineering services to governments around the world in defense, security, and civil markets. Until recently, he was based in Dubai, and three months ago he moved to Singapore.


Newcomer to build 500 Ooredoo towers

MyanmarThe build-and-lease contract is for a period of 18 months, according to the statement. This is a relatively modest rollout plan compared to other towers companies operating in Myanmar. Pan-Asia Towers, for instance, signed in early 2014 to build 1250 towers for Ooredoo as part of its phase one program, which is already complete. A report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and mobile operators industry body GSMA estimates that more than 17,000 telecommunication towers will need to be set up by 2017 to cover 70 percent of Myanmar’s population.


Telstra’s startup accelerator muru-D launched in Singapore

SingaporeAfter the successful launch of its first accelerator in Sydney in October 2013, Communications company Telstra has launched its startup accelerator, muru-D, in Singapore on Wednesday. According to Telstra, it wants to attract the region’s best digital talent, foster local technology innovation and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Southeast Asia.  Applications will open in May for ten technology startups from across Southeast Asia to be recruited for the inaugural six-month accelerator program, which begins in August 2015.


Exclusive Interview: Singapore’s Smart Nation Minister

Singapore“Independent Singapore has always had to think in strategic terms, because we were always facing existential challenges,” says Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Smart Nation Minister. A small city state surrounded by vast – and once hostile – neighbours, Singapore always had to strive to survive. It has done so by riding a wave of globalisation; constantly seeking out new opportunities to differentiate itself.


StarHub starts transformation to open, cloud-based network using SDN

SingaporeStarHub has started transforming its existing core and access networks to open, cloud-based networks using software-defined networking (SDN) technology. This forms part of StarHub’s aim to enhance its network operational capabilities, enabling the company to better respond to its corporate customers’ business needs as well as to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives.  This came after StarHub recently finalized the design of its SDN environment and identified various strategic partners, including Cisco and Huawei who will be involved in the development of StarHub’s SDN ecosystem.


Powered by Singtel, this incubator wants to help social impact startups reach success

SingaporePrograms for civic-minded startups are few and far between. Singapore, however, is fortunate to have a number of them, and today it adds another to its number. Unframed, a social impact startupincubator, this afternoon launched a five-month program calledEnabling Change. The incubator is backed by Jan Croeni, a serial entrepreneur turned philanthropist who co-founded Deal.com.sg. For the incubation program, local telco Singtel will come on board as a strategic partner and majority funder.


Singapore is part of the digital Silk Road, a test bed for the world: Vivian Balakrishnan

SingaporeAll of Singapore’s ministers may not be the eminence grise of politics but they are also not your typical jesting orators–at least that is the general perception. One minister, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, however, broke off from the stereotype and injected a dose of humour on stage during a conference on tech innovation. The occasion was the inauguration of ‘Innovfest Unbound’ on Tuesday, a two-day conference on Innovation and entrepreneurship organized by the prestigious National University of Singapore (NUS) at Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore.


KVH supports AWS in Singapore

SingaporeSingapore – KVH, the Asian Information Delivery Platform headquartered in Tokyo, is now offering dedicated Ethernet network connections to Amazon Web Services in Singapore. The new service is a private network that can create hybrid-architecture solutions that merge private infrastructure with AWS computing resources. Customers can access AWS Direct Connect in Singapore from Singapore but also from Hong Kong and Japan, through KVH etherXEN, KVH’s Ethernet service, or KVH DCNet, a network of over 75 connected data centers across Asia.


Interoute Sets Up in Singapore

SingaporeLONDON — Interoute, owner operator of Europe’s largest cloud services platform, today announced that it has extended the global reach of its network to Singapore. The new Point of Presence (PoP) will support Interoute’s enterprise customers with an additional location in the Asia-Pacific region. Interoute’s network connects Europe, USA, the Middle East and Africa, extending to Hong Kong and now Singapore in the East.


Linode Opens New Data Center in Singapore

SingaporeLinode, a leading provider of cloud-hosting services, today announced the expansion of its Asia-Pacific presence with a new data center in Singapore. This new location, created to meet the growing demands of the region’s rapidly growing technology and information sector, marks Linode’s second in the region and seventh overall. “We’ve been making simple cloud infrastructure available since 2003,” COO Thomas Asaro explained. .”


MediaCorp acquires 52% stake in Indonesia’s KapanLagi

SingaporeSingapore-based media giant MediaCorp announced today that it has acquired a 52 percent stake in Indonesia’s KLN Group (KLN) for an undisclosed amount. KLN is the parent company of KapanLagi Network, one of the largest and most successful online media companies in the archipelago. The two firms signed the agreement in Jakarta today with the hope that MediaCorp’s expertise and pan-Asian reach can help accelerate KLN’s market position in Indonesia. The partnership also has a goal to create solutions for advertisers to reach customers in new ways.


Data protection Q&A with experts from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Japan

APACPrivacy experts from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Japan offer valuable insight into data protection matters, addressing Privacy Impact Assessment, consent and disclosure, cross-border data flow, privacy governance, data breach management, Big Data and cloud computing.The Asia-Pacific region is stepping up its legal and enforcement regimes for data protection: The past five years have seen Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan ratifying their respective data privacy laws, while Thailand is currently drafting legislation and Japan is discussing reforms to its data privacy provisions.