Speech By Dr Yaacob IBRAHIM, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange Opening Ceremony

18 June 2013 - Speech By Dr Yaacob IBRAHIM, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 9.35am, Level 4, Simpor Room

Speech By Dr Yaacob IBRAHIM, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 9.35am, Level 4, Simpor Room

Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Guests,    
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

1. I am very happy to join you this morning as we open the annual Infocomm Media Business Exchange or imbX.

2.  I had a very lively discussion yesterday at the Ministerial Forum on ICT, where we focused on the role that infocomm plays in promoting socio-economic development and innovation. Today, I would like to share how Singapore intends to continue leveraging on technological advancements to benefit our people and businesses, and in turn, transform Singapore for the future.

Singapore: An Intelligent Nation and Global City, Powered by Infocomm

3. Singapore has made good progress in implementing the Intelligent Nation 2015 masterplan or iN2015. Designed to transform Singapore into a global city powered by infocomm, the masterplan has propelled Singapore to be a leader in the infocomm sector. We are ranked 1st in Waseda University's Global e-Government Ranking Reports since 2009.1 From 2010, we are also placed 2nd in the World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report2.

4. Singapore's infocomm industry continues to be a key contributor to our economy, registering strong and healthy year-on-year growth of 23 per cent in 2012 to reach $102 billion of ICT revenue3. Singapore's infocomm sector is also a strong contributor to national employment, providing jobs for more than 144,000 infocomm professionals4. Singapore will continue to improve our infocomm infrastructure to increase our business competitiveness and enhance our people's quality of life.

5. Paving the way for ultra-high speed connectivity, 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Singapore are now wired up to the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN). To date, more than 330,000 subscribers are served by 20 retail service providers.5

6. The new phase of the Wireless@SG programme will see access speeds for Singapore's free public Wi-Fi increase to up to 2 Mbps. Inter-operator roaming will begin by the end of this month, enabling users to access the Internet network island-wide. Also, from 1 April next year, SIM-based authentication will also be implemented to simplify the wireless login process. These continuing efforts will improve the Internet experience for Singaporeans in their work and leisure activities.

7. Singaporeans have a one-stop access to over 400 government e-services via the eCitizen portal, and some 100 mobile government services via the mGov@SG mobile app. Singaporeans are also able to have quick access to letters from government ministries and agencies via their secure digital mailbox, OneInBox.

8. Greater connectivity and improved infocomm infrastructure also allows Singaporeans to enjoy the comforts of working closer to home. The Infocomm Development Authority or IDA has recently launched a call for proposal for "Smart Work Centres". Five community spaces have been put up for interested operators to consider creating professional workspaces for different work needs, in the convenience of our heartland estates.

9. The Government will continue with our work to enhance access to mobile services for all our citizens.

10. As Singapore continues to improve our infocomm infrastructure, we also collaborate with our neighbours to enhance connectivity.

11. This morning, I am especially pleased to announce that Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia have jointly agreed to harmonise the use of the 700 MHz digital dividend radio frequencies. The agreement – which is in line with the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity band plan, will allow the countries to meet growing demand for mobile broadband, improve regional mobile roaming, and provide more competitive mobile broadband services. Our population can look forward to greater access to rich media content on their mobile devices.

12. The 700 MHz digital dividend radio frequencies, expected to be available by 2020 - after the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting, will greatly benefit us and strengthen our connectivity with the region and beyond.

Using Infocomm to Enhance Productivity and Address Challenges

13. ICT's role in contemporary society goes beyond linking people and businesses around the world. Today, ICT is seen as a key enabler in addressing the many challenges that businesses face today. Companies across industries are increasingly adopting infocomm as a means to enhance their productivity, reduce their reliance on manpower, and overcome the challenges of resource limitations.

14. For instance in healthcare, some of our doctors can soon monitor patients’ health conditions without requiring them to travel to clinics for routine checks.  This is enabled through the Telehealth Call-For-Collaboration by the Ministry of Health and IDA, which has awarded a grant to myHealth Sentinel Pte Ltd to provide remote monitoring of chronic disease patients using wireless devices. Such efforts pave the way for timely intervention and treatment, improving the way healthcare services are delivered in Singapore.

15. Data analytics also play a key role to enhance business competitiveness and productivity, enabling businesses to improve efficiencies in business operations by deriving richer insights from the wealth of data collected. Businesses across industries - from retail, wholesale, healthcare to manufacturing, will be able to make informed decisions that are data-driven, and obtain greater productivity and profit.

16. To help businesses discover insights about their customers and operations, a suite of Business Analytics shared services will have its features progressively made available to retail enterprises from the middle of this year. Deployed on shared infrastructure, the entry barrier for these businesses is lowered by reducing adoption costs and shortening the overall implementation time.

17. While we make efforts to facilitate the penetration of business analytics across industries, Singapore must strengthen our position as an international data and analytics hub. To achieve this, we need skilled manpower with Big Data and analytics capabilities. I am happy that the establishment of EMC Computer Systems’ Big Data Centre will help address the manpower gaps in the market. IDA has also jointly set up a Business Analytics Centre of Excellence with Revolution Analytics to hire data developers and scientists to build up Singapore’s capabilities.

18. IDA is also collaborating with the infocomm industry to train more professionals to adapt to the ever-changing infocomm landscape. A Memorandum of Intent between IDA and Palo Alto Networks will establish the PAN Innovation Centre and expand the pool of local information security professionals. Such efforts will place Singapore in good stead to become a data analytics hub.

19. IDA will also launch the Data Innovation Challenge on 26 June, with three global companies across the healthcare, manufacturing as well as advertising and media sectors, on-board for a start. The first of its kind in Asia, the challenge will bring together data scientists, ICT companies, academia and research institutes interested to crowd-source for ideas and business solutions, to improve their processes and promote co-innovation on a global scale.

Harnessing Convergence: A New Infocomm Media Masterplan

20. Whilst Singapore has grown its infocomm industry over the years, we must continue leveraging on technological evolutions to create new strengths, and equip ourselves for the next phase of infocomm development.

21. To do that, we will need to seize the opportunities arising from the growing convergence of the infocomm and media sectors.

22. This convergence has changed the way we live, work and play. Young children in school are benefiting from interactive textbooks that integrate videos and animation with text to stimulate thinking. The revolution brought about by YouTube and iTunes now means people expect instant, on-the-go access to entertainment and information, as we enjoy books, videos, music, and television programmes on our mobile devices.

23. This convergence will continue to create opportunities for all - through greater convenience and benefits for society, and new opportunities for business growth. To take advantage of this potential, we must look at the development of media and infocomm in a holistic and integrated manner. I had thus announced in March this year that I will commission a combined masterplan for the infocomm and media sectors.

24.  Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of the Infocomm Media Masterplan Steering Committee that will lead the development of the new Infocomm Media Masterplan. The 14-member committee, will be chaired by Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of Credence Partners. It will be led by the private sector, and supported by my Ministry, along with IDA, the Media Development Authority and the Economic Development Board.

25. Over the next two years, the Steering Committee will work closely with academia, and the private and public sectors to deliver a Masterplan that will guide the development of Singapore’s infocomm and media sectors into 2025.


26.  The convergence of infocomm and media gives us added reason to meet at a forum like imbX. It is Asia’s largest ICT and media showcase of the latest infocomm and media technologies and solutions. imbX also provides us with compelling opportunities to engage in important discussions on ICT, media and convergence, and its impact on our future.

27.  As we begin this year’s imbX, it is my hope that you will have a memorable stay in Singapore. I also wish you a most fruitful and rewarding experience here at the exchange.

28.  It gives me great pleasure to declare imbX 2013, open. Thank you.

Notes to Editor:



3Annual Survey on Infocomm Industry 2012

4Annual Survey on Infocomm Manpower 2012

5 http://www.ida.gov.sg/Infocomm-Landscape/Facts-and-Figures/Telecommunications/Statistics-on-Telecom-Services/Statistics-on-Telecom-Services-for-2013-Jan-Jun

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023