Singapore is setting aside S$40 million to build ‘open and inclusive’ 5G Innovation ecosystem

The Straits Times

Singapore is setting aside S$40 million (US$29.5 million) to drive innovation and research in 5G technology, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran announced on Thursday (June 27).

Speaking at the Innovfest Unbound conference held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Iswaran revealed that the funds will be used to build an open and inclusive 5G innovation ecosystem. This includes 5G technology trials for enterprise use-cases; creating a series of new open testbeds; and research & development (R&D) in 5G, for example cybersecurity.

In a statement, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that this was part of a series of initiatives to accelerate Singapore’s journey to become a “leading digital economy”.

The IMDA plans to start off by exploring clusters such as maritime operations; urban mobility; smart estates; Industry 4.0, consumer applications and government applications. These were identified “based on their potential for export globally reinforcing Singapore’s goal to be a global front-runner in impactful 5G use-cases”, IMDA said.

Existing industry partners include Singtel and M1, who have been appointed to explore the use of 5G technology for the maritime industry, so that PSA’s port productivity can be enhanced.

Trials for PSA will begin in the third quarter of this year.

In addition, A*STAR, JTC and Singtel are collaborating to deploy 5G at A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (“ARTC”) in Jurong Innovation District. This will see the integration of 5G with technologies such as Internet-of-Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), so that businesses can develop next-generation manufacturing solutions.

Smart estates in the making

A smart estates ecosystem is also being planned so that Singapore developers, technology companies and built environment service providers can innovate in Singapore for “greater market opportunities in the region”, IMDA said.

So far, S$1.5 million has been awarded for eight projects, including innovative use of 3D Digital Twin technology, and a cloud-based platform to enable quick searches for assets through a visual tour.

IMDA has also launched a Call for Innovation Solutions with the Housing Development Board and Frasers Property Singapore.

Review of Electronic Transactions Act

The authority said in its statement that a public consultation seeking views on the Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) to include new transaction technologies such as Distributed Ledger Technology (“DLT”) and Electronic Transferable Records (“ETR”) will also help to facilitate innovation in the digital economy.

It also aims to strengthen Singapore’s position as a hub for electronic transactions, and support digital government efforts.

According to IMDA, the ETA review will:

  • Enable more transactions under the ETA, including property transactions, wills, and Lasting Powers of Attorney; and
  • Provide certainty on the use of new technologies such as DLT, Smart Contracts and Biometrics; and
  • Update its Certification Authority framework