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The ‘new ladder’ of tech regulation

Ross Storey | May 18, 2011
A key United Nations body has put world governments on notice about how crucial is information and communications technology (ICT), to every country’s economic, social and political growth.

Minister Lui said the network had achieved 60 per cent coverage nationwide at the end of 2010 and was on track to achieve 95 per cent coverage by mid-2012.

Commercial services were launched in September 2010 and the minister said that, to date, there are more than six service providers offering over 30 fibre-based broadband access plans.

Innovative services
“Today, several service providers have packaged their broadband access plans with value added services such as online storage, video chat, video search engines, music stores and Web hosting,” minister Lui said. “We expect more innovative services to emerge. For example, high-definition video-conferencing and Internet protocol TV, or IPTV, will experience little or no lag time with the bandwidth afforded under Next Gen NBN.”

He said higher speeds also allowed enterprises to re-engineer business processes for increased productivity.

“One example is the access to cloud services, where enterprises can buy services online on a ‘pay-as-you-use’ basis as and when they need them,” Lui said. “This helps enterprises, especially the SMEs, reduce up-front infrastructure and software costs.

“For instance, StarHub has launched an electronic human resource management cloud service for businesses.”
Singapore’s Next Gen NBN will be complemented by the upcoming deployment of mobile 4G technology, which potentially offers speeds five to 10 times faster than 3G technologies.

4G trials
“I understand that all mobile operators are currently conducting 4G trials, and we can expect deployment, I’m told, as early as end of this year. This would be timely as manufacturers would also have rolled out more 4G-enabled devices by then,” minister Lui said.

The Minister told the Committee of Supply that trustworthiness has been Singapore’s competitive differentiator.

He said Singapore’s approach towards building a trusted infocomm ecosystem included the protection of consumer personal data, and the security of national infrastructure, which is guided by the national Infocomm Security Masterplan and complemented by initiatives like the National Authentication Framework, or NAF.

The NAF is on track for launch in the second half of this year and expects to service three million end-users and handle more than 200 million transactions annually by 2015.

Minister Lui said it will provide “a nationwide platform for strong authentication to safeguard against unauthorised access to sensitive information, such as those transmitted in banking, healthcare and government online services”.

Ease of use
“Consumers can look forward to greater assurance and ease of using a single authentication device for multiple services, while businesses can enjoy cost savings from the use of a common platform,” the minister said.


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