Local telco Singtel has released a short film in honour of Singapore's 58th birthday as well as to commemorate founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's 100th birth anniversary.
Titled 'From Mudflats to Smart Nation', the film aims to reference Lee’s famous quote from Singapore’s first year of independence in 1965 when he spoke of turning Singapore from mudflats into a metropolis.
Besides delving into his vision for Singapore, the 23-minute documentary charts the nation's rise from fledgling nation to global economic hub through a telecoms and technology lens, exploring how Singapore leveraged connectivity, communication and digital content to get ahead economically and become today’s Smart Nation.
Structured in three acts, the documentary traces the build-up of Singapore’s communications infrastructure in the post-independence years, to nationwide computerisation in the eighties, the subsequent adoption of Information Communications Technology with the advent of the internet, right up to today.
The story is captured through rarely seen footage and photos of Singapore and Lee that will transport viewers through time from rural Singapore to thriving urban powerhouse.
The Singtel Group’s leaders also share their unique perspectives on the Singapore growth story, having themselves been part of this remarkable journey of survival and reinvention, said Singtel.
“As we celebrate Singapore’s 58th birthday, it is timely to examine how Singapore innovated its way to the present where we stand on the cusp of mainstream 5G adoption, another critical technology milestone that’s paving the way forward for our Smart Nation,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO. “Given our beginnings as the country’s sole telecoms company, we feel extremely privileged to have been able to support Singapore’s development through the decades from launching satellite services and laying the first submarine cable, to providing fibre and internet access to every household.
He added that true to Singtel's purpose to empower every generation, he is glad that its innovation focus and strategic investments have helped Singaporeans to get ahead, even through the recent global pandemic, demonstrating the critical role of telecoms and technology in ensuring better lives and livelihoods for our community.
Through interviews with group CEO, Mr Yuen Kuan Moon; Group CFO, Arthur Lang; NCS CEO, Ng Kuo Pin; Singtel board member and former chairman and general manager of the National Computer Board (NCS’ precursor), Lim Swee Say; as well as deputy CEO AIS and former Singtel Group CTO, Mark Chong, the film reveals both Singapore and Singtel’s forward-looking strategies that propelled the city state from rural village to intelligent nation.
“Singapore’s economic success is no secret but less known is how the country leveraged telecoms and technology to turbo charge its progress, allowing a small city state like ours to leapfrog ahead of the competition and give Singaporeans a head start in nation building," said Lian Pek, Singtel’s vice president of Strategic Communications and Brand.
"Today, as 5G opens up the next chapter in our Smart Nation journey, it is useful to take stock of Singapore’s clever use of technology and the potent ingredients that have gone into the making of the Singapore brand so we can all keep ideating for the future,” she added.
Last July, Singtel completed its standalone 5G rollout across the country, three years ahead of regulatory targets. This turned Singapore’s 57th National Day celebrations into the country’s largest consumer use case as 25,000 spectators tapped 5G to live stream the parade. Singtel’s 5G leadership has seen it climb up the brand rankings.
According to consultancy Brand Finance, Singtel was also the 6th strongest telecom company globally this year, up from 9th place. It also retained its place as Singapore’s strongest brand across all sectors. Singtel currently has a brand value that is up 6% to US$4.1 billion.
The brand consolidated its position due to an increase in its Brand Strength Index score, driven by greater awareness and familiarity among respondents.
In 2022, Singtel also grew by 10% in mobile service revenue as roaming volumes rebounded with the relaxation of travel restrictions and the rise of 5G usage among customers.
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