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IDA Unveils 2nd Infocomm Technology Roadmap

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) unveils the second instalment of the Infocomm Technology Roadmap, Singapore's technology blueprint for year 2000-2005. The Infocomm Technology Roadmap is a collaborative industry vision...

Singapore, 20 March 2001 | For Immediate Release

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) unveils the second instalment of the Infocomm Technology Roadmap, Singapore's technology blueprint for year 2000-2005. The Infocomm Technology Roadmap is a collaborative industry vision for the technology landscape in Singapore until 2005, and it aims to align Singapore's technological direction with worldwide industry developments. This is essential for Singapore to be a key player in the global infocomm arena1.

The 1st Roadmap, released in July 2000, identified broadband and mobile wireless as key technologies which will prevail in the local infocomm sector. This 2nd Roadmap, presented at today's Infocomm Tecnology Roadmap Forum2, incorporates the visions and views of 39 industry players (see Annex), on the trends and developments in home networking and E-Commerce security.

Commenting on the 2nd Roadmap, Dr Brian Chen, Chief Technology Officer of IDA said, "The 2nd Roadmap envisages home networking as an emerging market, arising from the growth of broadband usage. In fact, the demand for home networking and broadband will drive each other, and this spells great opportunities for content providers, managed service providers, broadband service providers, home networking vendors and solutions integrators." Dr Chen added, "A corollary to home networking has to be the parallel adoption of E-Commerce security. We hope that the 2nd Roadmap will encourage businesses to understand the important need for security technologies, so that they can implement better security in their E-Commerce systems, and capitalise on market opportunities to provide solutions and services using these technologies."

The highlights of the 2nd Roadmap include:

The Connected Home

A connected home is one where computers, peripherals, entertainment systems, home appliances, home automation and security systems are interconnected through a home network. The Broadband Internet connection will be a core part of this home network. The "always-on" feature of broadband Internet access has enabled home-based access to a myriad of services and activities that could only be physically accessed in the past. In addition, a home network linking several terminals and appliances allows simultaneous access to the Internet from multiple computers in the home. A member of the family can transact stocks and shares, pay utility bills, or stock up on groceries, while another person can play Internet online game with friends or pursue e-learning - all from the comfort of their home at a fraction of the time spent on a physical transaction. This has created new lifestyle patterns, where people can spend more time at home with their families, since repetitive or time-consuming errands can be performed online, at their own convenience.

Convergence at various levels will shape the development of the home networking industry. The digitisation of media (voice, audio and video), the convergence of data, telecommunication and cable networks, and the convergence of the TV/set-top box, personal computers and game consoles, will have profound impact on the developments of the home network market. This will spawn a whole new market for telecommunication operators, cable operators, Internet Service Providers and utility companies.

Observing this trend in his presentation at today's Forum, Mr Sean Conlon, Regional Technical Manager of Intel's Platform Networking Group shared the company's vision of how every home will become an e-Home in the future. He said, "Internet will be everywhere in the electricity". Added Mr Conlon, "The Internet has changed the world in many ways, yet consumer needs continue to be the same. The primary consumer demands are still entertainment, socialisation, communication, memories and sharing, and to meet these demands, a powerful and invisible network is crucial."

While still a relatively new concept in Singapore and the region, home networking is a booming industry in the US. In Singapore, some property developers have injected e-Home features into their housing projects. Some of these 'smart' features include Internet appliances, as well as facilities for network gaming, video conferencing and web-based home surveillance.

E-Commerce Security

The Economic Intelligence Unit ranks Singapore's E-Commerce readiness top in Asia and Number 8 worldwide. In a 1999 Boston Consulting Group Survey Report, Singapore was one of the top 10 countries in the Asia Pacific in terms of total consumer online spending.

With the increasing adoption of E-Commerce by businesses and consumers, online security technologies have become an important consideration for companies. Industry comments received for the 2nd Roadmap indicate that consumers' concern about data privacy and the security assurance may be inhibiting them from engaging in online transactions. It was highlighted that while there are existing initiatives and programmes addressing the regulatory aspects of E-Commerce, knowledge of E-Commerce security technology is generally lacking in the industry.

In the 2nd Roadmap, E-Commerce security is regarded as one of the essential infrastructure components which will make Singapore a key E-Commerce hub in the region. The Roadmap also examines E-Commerce security technology as a strategic enabling tool for the banking, finance and securities industries, focusing on solutions for the authentication and authorisation of online payments. Some of these solutions include public key infrastructure (PKI), cryptography, smart cards, biometrics and digital rights management. For instance, digital rights management technologies will be an emerging market that addresses online intellectual property protection, including online distribution of MP3 music files, online publishing, software sales, video and photograph distribution to consumers by e-merchants.

A speaker at today's Forum, Mr Lucas Chow, CEO of SingTel Mobile, also underscored that online security technologies will be an essential requirement with the increasing adoption of E-Commerce by businesses and consumers. Mr Chow, who is also Chairman of the recently formed PKI Forum3 said, "Building a secure online environment is an important first step towards increasing business and consumer confidence when performing online transactions. Heightening the awareness of security technologies, such as through the work of the PKI Forum, will help to ensure the success of E-Commerce deployment in Singapore and the region."

Technology Update to the 1st Infocomm Technology Roadmap

Since the release of the 1st Roadmap, there have been many developments both locally and around the world in the areas of broadband access and mobile wireless technologies. To keep abreast of developments, two emerging broadband access technologies have been included in the 2nd Roadmap - powerline technology and laser technology (commonly known as "optical wireless access") in the access network.

The 2nd Infocomm Technology Roadmap can be obtained from the "Technology / Technology Roadmap" section of the IDA website.


Notes to Editor:

1 As technology is one of the key engines driving the Infocomm 21 Strategic Plan, IDA in collaboration with key industry vendors and operators, as well as academia and research bodies, develops the technology roadmap for the local infocomm industry.

2 The 2nd Infocomm Technology Roadmap Forum was held today at The Westin Stamford, Singapore.

3 The PKI Forum Singapore is a key platform for industry and government collaboration to spur Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) adoption in the local E-Commerce environment. A secure infrastructure lays the foundation for a thriving E-Commerce sector. The main objectives of the PKI Forum Singapore include:

  • To raise awareness and improve understanding of issues such as PKI interoperability, ease of use and liability;
  • To promote interoperability and extensibility of applications that use PKI to allow for seamless usage;
  • To facilitate the development of a secure environment for online businesses, thereby stimulating the volume of E-Commerce transactions between local and global industry players.

More details on the PKI Forum is available in the 15 Mar press release on the IDA website,

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Ms Dulcie Chan
Senior Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-1999
Fax: +65 6211-2227

Ms Jennifer Toh
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-0508
Fax: +65 6211-2227