SG govt sets aside SG$40 million to build up 5G ecosystem

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched a series of initiatives to accelerate Singapore’s journey to become a leading Digital Economy. The initiatives were announced by Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, at Innovfest Unbound who shared that IMDA and the National Research Foundation (NRF) has set aside S$40 million to build an open and inclusive 5G Innovation ecosystem. This will support 5G technology trials for enterprise use-cases; creating a series of new open testbeds and R&D in 5G such as cybersecurity.

According to the minister, the government will be leveraging on 5G as a key digital infrastructure of tomorrow and is looking to "embed digital transformation at the core of communities". It is also looking to develop progressive legislation to enhance trust and catalyse innovation.

"A world-class digital infrastructure is the backbone of the Digital Economy and Singapore has invested heavily to ensure that our digital infrastructure is fit-for-purpose and future-ready," the minister added. He aalso added that in today's economy, edge computing, cloud-based AI services, Augmented Reality, 5G technology are all innovations bring new challenges and also opportunities that were absent less than a decade ago.

"Even as we seek to adapt and seize new opportunities, there is also an air of uncertainty as companies deal with the disruptions caused by technological advancements," he said. To stay ahead, Singapore has to forge ahead with the digital transformation of its economy, "working closely with industries, enterprises and people in this important transition," he added.

As a start, IMDA will explore clusters such as maritime operations; urban mobility; smart estates; Industry 4.0, consumer applications and government applications. These clusters have been identified based on their potential for export globally reinforcing Singapore’s goal to be a global front-runner in impactful 5G use-cases.

IMDA has launched a public consultation to seek views on its review of the Electronic Transactions Act (“ETA”). This will ensure the ETA continues to be progressive, facilitate innovation in the Digital Economy, strengthen Singapore’s position as a hub for electronic transactions, and support Digital Government efforts.

Tan Kiat How, chief executive of IMDA, said: “As we enter a digital-as-usual age, it is even more imperative for all segments of society to continue their urgent efforts to digitalise to be relevant and competitive. IMDA’s new multi-pronged, collaborative initiatives announced today addressing infrastructure, legislation and other challenges, will further complement our existing efforts to accelerate Singapore’s transformation to an advanced Digital Economy, and I encourage all organisations to participate in these programmes.”