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Technology Leaders Meet to Envision the Future of Next Generation Internet at IDA's Third Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) reveals the third instalment of the Infocomm Technology Roadmap (ITR)1 today. The third Infocomm Technology Roadmap, a result of IDA's collaboration with ...

Singapore, 28 Feburary 2002 | For Immediate Release

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) reveals the third instalment of the Infocomm Technology Roadmap (ITR)1 today. The third Infocomm Technology Roadmap, a result of IDA's collaboration with 28 organisations, (Refer to Annex A), maps out the vision, trends and developments of a Next Generation Internet that runs on a new-age photonic infrastructure while carrying Next Generation Internet Applications that are adaptive to users' lifestyle and business needs. These new developments will help to create an Internet that is not only faster and more pervasive but allows for greater collaboration, intelligent network connectivity and provisioning as well.

The symposium, which brings together a cross-section of top technology leaders, the academia and researchers, as well as policy and decision makers, is opened by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Acting CEO/ Director-General (Telecoms), IDA Singapore. He said, "With the support and inputs from government bodies, technology players and the research community, IDA is able to successfully put together its third Infocomm Technology Roadmap as one of the pillars of Infocomm 212 to paint a collective vision of future technologies and standards. We hope the Roadmap is a useful reference for industry players to identify synergies and complementary expertise, pool resources together and leverage on each others' strengths. We also hope that the symposium organised for the release of the Roadmap and other activities that follow, will energise the local community into promoting industry and research collaborations and generating a critical mass of R&D and economic activities that will yield the maximum benefit for Singapore."

Commenting on the technologies that will be discussed at the third Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium, Dr Brian Chen, Chief Technology Officer, IDA Singapore, said, "We have identified key technologies for the Next Generation Internet so that government agencies as well as industry investors can consider them in their business decisions. We want to also give the impetus to the industry to come together to work on strategies and activities with the goal of not only furthering their businesses, but making Singapore a part of the global network of Next Generation Internet. Together, we can build a reputation for Singapore in the Photonics, Optical Networking and Next Generation Internet Applications arena."

The Infocomm Technology Symposium garners strong industry participation. Local and international industry experts (Refer to Annex B) are invited to speak on the Next Generation Network and share insights into its development, challenges and critical success factors.

Highlights of the Third Infocomm Technology Roadmap

Next Generation Optical Networks and Photonics
Legacy communication networks deployed in most countries were optimised for voice communications. However, the new age of the Internet sees the emergence of Next Generation Internet Applications that require networks to be optimised for both voice and data communications. In the optical age, the Report sees the emergence of intelligent high capacity Internet Protocol based optical networks that can provide dynamic and instantaneous bandwidth-on-demand, while being scalable, robust, cost effective and efficient to operate and manage. Important features of these optical networks include Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, a technology to transmit different colours of light into a single fibre, thereby conveniently increasing the network capacity while reducing the need to lay new fibres. Another important feature lies in a new intelligent control plane technology that allows the efficient management of traffic and the setting-up and tearing-down of light paths without the inconvenience of long-service downtime and the higher costs of manual intervention.

Photonics for Application in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
The Report views Photonics as a revolutionary technology; one that is as fundamental and impactful as the invention of the transistor. Instead of relying on electrons, Photonics manipulate units of light or 'photons' to accomplish functions required in the deployment of Next Generation Optical Networks. The world of Photonic technologies has seen an industry consolidation in the past 24 months but the Report views Photonics to have long-term potential as demonstrated by on-going investments and company acquisitions in areas such as tunable lasers, all-optical switches, dispersion compensators, photonic crystal fibres, and DWDM components. New tunable components could also offer cost savings in spares and inventory management, while offering advanced intelligent technical performance features. Some of these advanced photonic technologies would also help to reduce the number of overall network components and hence result in cost savings. The Report also sees the potential for automated high-end optical manufacturing for the photonics industry in infocommunications.

Next Generation Internet Applications
The Report advocates that the Next Generation Internet Applications (NGIA) will be about the weaving together of devices, services, businesses and even people, on top of an intelligent, robust, secure infrastructure into an intricate web. This will stretch the boundaries of the Internet and bring the level of collaboration to a more sophisticated and immersive level. The Report believes that NGIA will be characterised by the following:-

  • Virtualisation, where resources will be pooled from both closed local systems and open global access, over geographical boundaries as well as ownership barriers, and pooled from heterogeneous environments for unified access
  • An extension of control to edge resources towards a decentralised and distributed architecture
  • A Ubiquitous Internet accessed by a diversity of devices
    An emerging concept, 'Immersion', characterised by a two-way web that is more media-rich and interactive while enabling greater functionalities
  • A higher level of collaboration, facilitated by an increase in business2business, machine2machine and application2application interactions
  • An evolution of market and economic dynamics to a service and subscription based model
  • A paradigm shift in software development methodologies, adopting an increasingly agile and on-demand model
  • An underlying layer of standards for interoperability and interactivity between heterogeneous environments, pulling down barriers to openness

The Report also envisions three technologies to be key in advancing the way in which the Internet will be used above the underlying intelligent optical transport network. Web Services, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Grid Computing are viewed as Next Generation Internet Applications that will help bring about a new computing paradigm where resources, data, applications and services will be intertwined to meet the needs of future activities over the Internet.

Web Services are expected to bring forth the next phase in the evolution of e-business. Based on a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), the promise of Web Services lies in the expected cost savings, speed of development and re-usability. It involves a wave of change encompassing the business models, user paradigms and a change in development methodology.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Computing empowers users to create their own online communities and run them collectively, as they choose. Based on the sharing of computer resources and services by direct exchange between systems, P2P enhances collaboration and provides means for one to leverage on other users and systems in its online community. P2P Computing is used in collaborative applications such as instant messaging, file sharing and groupware, as well as edge resources pooling and distributed network applications.

Grid Computing is an emerging infrastructure that allows users to have open global access to high-end computational resources on the worldwide Internet. Its potent combination of a utility-like access and large-scale resource-pooling capabilities are anticipated to give rise to a new class of applications. Grid Computing is currently driven by the academia and is still in the early adopter phase. However, the vision of turning the Internet into a computing platform and to a service-oriented model delivering instant, reliable access to resources dispersed globally, fits well with the future landscape of global and virtual organisations characterised by large amount of inter-enterprise collaborations.

The full Third Infocomm Technology Roadmap Report can be downloaded from the IDA website under 'Technology Development'.


Notes to Editor :

1 The Infocomm Technology Roadmap is one of the supporting pillars of Infocomm 212. The Roadmap charts the vision, trends and developments of the technology landscape in Singapore for the next five years. It aims to align Singapore's technological direction with worldwide infocomm developments and to paint a collective vision of future technologies. In this respect, the roadmap aims to help the industry keep abreast with future directions and trends, and to assist the industry to identify business opportunities for competitive advantage. Early adoption of emerging Infocomm technologies is essential to give Singapore an added competitive edge in business and economic opportunities. The first Roadmap, released in July 2000, identified broadband and mobile wireless as the key technologies for the local Infocomm industry. The second Roadmap, released in March 2001, focused on trends and developments in home networking and Infocomm e-Commerce security.

2 Infocomm 21 is IDA's strategic blueprint for the New Economy. Implemented in 2000, Infocomm 21 strives to move Singapore into the ranks of 'first world economies' of the Net age. It aims to harness information communication technologies for national competitiveness and to improve on Singapore's quality of life. The blueprint articulates the vision, goal and strategies that guide and assist the development of our Infocomm industry over the next five years. More information on Infocomm 21 can be located at

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, please visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Ms Ho Hwei Ling
Senior Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-1996
Fax: +65 6211-2227

Ms Cindy Kong
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-1997
Fax: +65 6211-2227


No. Organisation
1 Agency for Science, Technology And Research (A*STAR)
2 Alcatel
3 BioInformatics Institute (BII)
4 Blue Sky Systems & Blue Sky Research
5 Bragg Photonics
6 Cisco Systems
7 Economic Development Board (EDB)
8 GINTIC Institute of Manufacturing Technology
9 GridNode
10 Hewlett-Packard
11 IBM
12 Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC)
13 Institute of Microelectronics (IME)
14 Intel
15 Kent Ridge Digital Laboratories (KRDL)
16 Lucent Technologies
17 Marconi Communications
18 Microsoft
19 National University of Singapore (NUS)
20 Network Technology Research Centre (NTRC), NTU
21 Nortel Networks
22 Oracle Systems
23 School of Computer Engineering, NTU
24 Singapore Telecommunications
25 Starhub
26 Sun Microsystems
27 Tellabs
28 Thales Electro-Optics


No. Name Designation Organisation
1 Mr Leong Keng Thai (Guest-of-Honour) Acting Chief Executive Officer/Director-General(Telecoms) IDA Singapore
2 Dr Brian Chen  Chief Technology Officer IDA Singapore
3 A/Prof. Cheng Tee Hiang  Director Network Technology Research Centre 
4 Dr. Mohamed L. El-Sayed  Manager of Advanced Optical Networking Design Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies
5 Mr Idris T. Vasi Director, Optical & Storage Networking, Asia-Pacific Cisco Systems 
6 Mr Raymond Lee Deputy Director, Technolgy Direction IDA Singapore 
7 Dr Milan Milenkovic Director, Distributed Systems Architecture Intel Labs, Intel Corporation 
8 Mr Dan'l Lewin Vice President, Microsoft .NET Microsoft Corporation
9 Dr Gunaretnam Rajagopal Acting Director  BioInformatics Institute