Singapore is one of the most wired countries in the world. In 2010, Singapore was ranked second in the World Economic Forum's Global IT Report, and eighth in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) e-Readiness Ranking. It was ranked ninth in the EIU Benchmarking IT industry Competitiveness in 2009.
Besides a nationwide broadband network infrastructure, Singapore is well connected by multiple satellite and submarine cable systems with more than 67 terabits per second of potential capacity supporting international and regional telecom connectivity. It has more than 830 Gbps of international internet bandwidth connectivity to economies such as the US, China, Japan, India, as well as some countries in Europe and ASEAN. The country is dependent on imports and U.S. products are traditionally well received. There are excellent opportunities to sell new applications and solutions to and through Singapore, as it is a harbinger of cutting edge technology and a major distribution center for companies interested in selling to the region. Best prospects include equipment, content, software and technologies for broadband, wireless broadband, 3G and 4G.
After recognizing its impending significance as early as the 1980s, Singapore strategically worked toward harnessing the potential of infocomm technology as a necessary component of economic and social development. From the National Computerisation Plan launched in 1981 to the latest 10-year master plan, Intelligent Nation 2015 (or iN2015) launched in 2006, Singapore has implemented policies and programs that have resulted in an impressive infocomm infrastructure.
Recent years have seen a major shift toward digital technology, leading to the integration of industry players from television, telecommunications and the internet. The convergence of these sectors has provided an impetus for the mergers of various government statutory boards. The Government of Singapore (GOS) now plays an integral role in the broadcast and telecom industries through two main semi-autonomous agencies: the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Media Development Authority (MDA).
IDA is building a Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII) to meet the needs of the government, business and people as the industry continues to grow and bandwidth-intensive activities increase. The infrastructure plans comprise various initiatives. Delivering ultra-high broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps and beyond, the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) addresses the wired component of the infrastructure, expected to reach 95% of homes and offices by mid-2012. The corresponding wireless component, the Wireless Broadband Network, offers pervasive island-wide connectivity. Also a part of the Next Gen NII, the Wireless@sg program allows users to enjoy free, indoor and outdoor wireless broadband access with speeds of up to 1 Mbps in public areas.
With infocomm adoption among enterprises and end users continually on the rise, the efforts of the IDA to encourage sophisticated demand in the industry have proven successful. Infocomm has become a fundamental part of the lives of the Singaporean population. In December 2008, the household broadband penetration rate was 99.9%. Since then it has almost doubled to 193%. As of January 2011, there are more than 7.3 million mobile phone subscriptions and a penetration rate just shy of 144%.
The IDA's latest Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage by Enterprises shows similar trends in the private sector. Computer usage by enterprises with 50 or more employees has reached saturation level, with companies with below 49 employees bringing down the total average to 78% in 2009. The proportion of enterprises using Internet and broadband reached 75% and 69% respectively. Through its iSPRINT program, the IDA is providing various incentives to lessen the technological divide between small and big business. Set to take effect from April 2011, for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are currently manual in all their operations and intending to implement information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for their first time, iSPRINT will cover 50% to 70% for qualifying costs. For other SMEs that already have some ICT solutions on board but intend to computerise another business function for the first time, iSPRINT will continue to support up to 50% of the qualifying costs. Consequently, infocomm usage among SMEs is set to rise more rapidly.
The IDA is working to achieve the goals of the iN2015 by partnering with various industry groups to promote the adoption of ICT. It launched a collaborative US$9.5m program, Infocomm@SeaPort, with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in 2007. The program consists of a number of initiatives including Wireless-broadband-access at SEaPORT (or WISEPORT), which aims to offer a mobile wireless broadband network within 15km from Singapore's southern coastline with the capability of providing high bandwidth communications channels for more than 13,000 vessels that navigate through Singapore waters annually. In the education sector, the IDA has paired with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Microsoft Singapore to launch the BackPackLIVE! Initiative to promote ICT practices among teachers and students. The initiative is now in its second phase.
The explosion of media platforms and devices and overwhelming demand is leading to crowded airwaves, making it increasingly difficult for telcos to provide reliable services. In March 2011, M1, one of three telcos in Singapore, paid US$17.2m for the rights to a portion of an 1800MHz band previously reserved for use during major events to boost wireless capacity and for the testing of mobile equipment. At the end of 2010, the GOS allocated three blocks of 3G spectrum to each of Singapore's three major telcos: Starhub, Singtel and M1. To further meet rising industry demand and boost airwaves available for data services, the spectrum rights for 4G will be up for auction in 2012. The three telcos have started trials of 4G technology, which will offer mobile speeds of up to 300Mbps, more than 10 times faster than what the current 3G networks offer.
To better equip Singapore for the growing demand and rapidly changing media landscape, the MDA implemented the Singapore Media Fusion Plan (SMFP) in 2006. The blueprint includes a number of initiatives in various sub-sectors of the media industry, all of which aim to position Singapore as the "Trusted Global Capital for New Asia Media" where media content, services and applications are financed, made and traded for the world. As part of the SMFP, a 47-acre state-of-the-art development, aptly named Mediapolis, is in the process of being built. Said to be fully completed by 2020, the facility will house the latest in production, post-production and distribution facilities: a media ecosystem of soundstages with green screen capabilities, digital production and broadcast studios, as well as interactive digital media (IDM) and R&D facilities.
Primarily due to the efforts of the IDA and MDA, the country is now established as a broadcast hub, with 16 out of 17 major international cable and satellite broadcast networks in Asia. Digital Video Broadcasting- 2nd Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2), Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), High-Definition Television (HDTV), Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) and stereoscopic 3D are a few of the state-of-the-art technologies that already exist and are being developed in Singapore.
MediaCorp TV, Singapore's only terrestrial broadcaster and pioneer of the industry, provides 7 free-to-air channels across the country. Starhub TV is currently the only company that provides cable TV, which is fully digitized as of mid-2009. With the almost 200% household broadband penetration rate, IPTV is increasingly gaining pay TV market share. According to Frost & Sullivan, Starhub had a pay TV market share of 85%. It is predicted that this percentage will decrease significantly as Singtel has won the rights to broadcast the English Premier League (EPL), along with various other popular sport channels on its IPTV service, mioTV. There are also a number of other budding IPTV suppliers such as M1's 1box and Singapore Press Holdings' interactive web portal, Razor TV that are looking to benefit from these new developments.
Starhub plans to jointly build and operate a US$430 million submarine cable connecting East Asia's major business hubs. In January 2011, Starhub announced that its partners are NTT Communications, the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co and Telekom Malaysia. The cable system, Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) is a 7,200 km submarine cable linking Singapore directly to Japan, the Philippines and Hong Kong with a total carrying capacity exceeding 15 terabits per second and incorporating latest 40G optical technologies. The system will have connectivity to Malaysia and potential future connectivity to China and other Southeast Asian countries.
Today, Singapore's infocomm sector is a key contributor to its economy and registers stable revenue growth annually. Revenues for the infocomm industry hit US$49.7 (SG$62.7) billion by 2009, an 8% growth from 2008.
The Hardware segment remained the major contributor to infocomm industry revenue, with a share of 55% of the revenue. This segment also registered the largest revenue growth of 15.2% in 2009 from 2008. Export revenue remained a source of more than half (64%) of the infocomm industry revenue compared to the share of domestic revenue, largely fuelled by the Hardware segment.
Domestic revenue decreased to US$17.67 billion in 2009, down 2.3% from 2008. The top two contributors to the domestic market, Telecom Services and IT Services segments grew by 0.2% and 1.5% respectively.
Non-existent four years ago, the fast-growing Interactive Digital Media (IDM) sub-sector has seen 20% CAGR growth in value added revenue (US$210m) from 2007-2009, adding some US$1 billion in gross revenue and 3,500 new jobs in the process. Areas within this subsector include interactive television, film and online media, as well as interactive mobile and pervasive computing and media.
The United States is regarded as a primary source for new technologies and applications, thus American products are traditionally well received in import-dependent Singapore. There are excellent opportunities to sell new applications and solutions, as the country is the leading adopter of such technologies in the region. Best prospects include equipment, content, software, and technologies for broadband, wireless broadband, cloud computing, 3G, 4G, IPTV and IDM.
There is also opportunity for US broadcast vendors to sell to MediaCorp as it plans to move to a new location. It will occupy 1.5 hectares of land area with an estimated Gross Floor Area of 79,500 sq m at Mediapolis. While the design of the new complex has yet to be decided, the infrastructure will be high-rise in nature with the television studios and theatres located on the lower floors. The move will be in phases and is expected to be completed by mid-2015.
In the telecom market, major U.S. suppliers that have set up operations in Singapore include Motorola, Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, and Linksys. Vendors from other countries include Nortel, Samsung, ZTE, Nokia, Huawei, Ericsson, and Agilent. Many of these offices have regional responsibilities. U.S. companies supplying the following broadcast and telecom equipment have gained significant market share in Singapore:
In the broadcast market, the U.S. is dominant in providing the key editing and production equipment in both the radio and television market. Equipment such as non-linear editing software/systems, audio production equipment, news scripting systems and microphones are among the areas where American products are dominant. Key companies competing in the market include Apple, Avid, Harris, Tektronic, Mackie, Associated Press, Omneon, Belden, Dolby, StorageTek (Sun MicroSystems), Wohler and RCS. The U.S., however, does not dominate all aspects of the broadcast market. Japanese suppliers are the leaders in cameras and videotape recorders.
The GOS is a major buyer of ICT products and services. It issued 350 ICT tenders worth over US$800 million for the fiscal year (FY) 2010.
The Next Gen NBN and wireless broadband networks offer U.S. vendors the opportunity to participate in developing the new telecom infrastructure in Singapore. The ownership and responsibilities of the different components of the Next Gen NBN are structured into three layers. OpenNet is the Network Company (NetCo), the primary layer, responsible for the design, construction and operation of the fiber-optic platform. Nucleus Connect, the Operating Company (OpCo), is the secondary layer that provides wholesale network services over the active infrastructure using switches and transmission equipment. The final layer consists of the Retail Service Providers (RSPs), which will sell services to end-users including businesses and consumers. Already, 5 RSPs - LGA, M1, Singtel, StarHub and SuperInternet have signed up to the master interconnection offering with Nucleus Connect.
Nucleus Connect is committed to attracting overseas online service providers to host their content in Singapore. The IDA has also organized a suite of information-sharing and networking sessions called the Lighthouse Series, which aim to provide RSPs with insights into potential business opportunities enabled by the Next Gen NBN. Companies seeking to offer retail services to end-users on the Next Gen NBN should consider participating in the Lighthouse Series.
There are also opportunities for U.S. vendors to supply to the telecom service operators in Singapore.
For the enterprise market, the sectors with high infocomm adoption and usage are Information & Communications; Financial and Insurance; and Professional, Scientific & Technical industry.
Besides MediaCorp and other existing broadcasters, pre-production, production and post-production houses, there will be good opportunities for U.S. vendors to serve new prospective buyers under the GOS' new Mediapolis initiative.
A good way for equipment manufacturers to enter the Singapore market would be to work with local distributors and system integrators who are well versed with local conditions. U.S. global telecommunication service providers should consider collaborating with the service providers in Singapore who can provide them with interconnect related services, domestic and international leased circuits, network infrastructure and local marketing expertise. Alliances eliminate heavy investment in infrastructure outlay as well as provide immediate marketing reach due to their existing networks. This is an attractive approach which most foreign companies adopt to penetrate and reach end-users in Singapore. With the liberalization of the Singapore telecom and media market, U.S. service providers can apply for licenses from the IDA and the MDA.
There is no special legislation in Singapore covering agency agreements. Mercantile laws in Singapore are based on English laws. The contract sets the terms of agreement between vendors and buyers. The parties involved draw up a satisfactory contract that determines the conduct of both parties during the contract period including the terms of cancellation. U.S. firms interested to enter the Singapore and Asian markets should consider participating at CommunicAsia and Broadcast Asia, -- the largest ICT show in Asia -- it attracts over 50,000 visitors and close to 2,000 exhibiting companies annually. CS Singapore will actively support and provide value added services to the U.S. exhibitors at the show that will be held from June 21-24, 2011.
Market Access & Obstacles
The World Bank's "Doing Business 2010" report ranked Singapore as the easiest country in which to do business. Singapore is generally a free port, an open economy and maintains one of the most liberal trading regimes in the world. There is no duty on the import of ICT products into Singapore. However, individuals are not allowed to import satellite-receiving dishes. Telecommunication equipment suppliers are required to register their equipment for sale and use.
Singapore became the first country in Asia, and the third in the world, to operate a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on telecom equipment certification with the U.S. The MRA provides for direct entry of telecommunications into either market without the need for additional testing and certification. Under the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Telecommunications MRA agreed upon by the U.S. and Singapore, products can be tested and certified in the United States for conformance with Singapore's technical requirements.
U.S. suppliers will still require a local representative (dealer) who will be responsible for the import and sale of telecommunication equipment in Singapore. For security purposes, voice scramblers, military equipment, scanning receivers/transmitters that could be used by unauthorized persons for unlawful transmissions, interception and jamming of signals are prohibited from entry into Singapore unless prior approval by the IDA has been obtained.
The IDA is the government regulator authorized to establish standards, codes and regulations to be observed by operators of telecommunications systems and services and to regulate the conduct of telecommunications licensees in the provision of telecommunications systems and services. The IDA is also responsible for the management, allocation and use of the radio frequency spectrum.
From April 30, 2011, ISPs are required to share infocomm security information under the Secure and Resilient Internet Infrastructure Code of Practice. Issued by the IDA, this is one of several measures mandated under the code to boost internet infrastructure protection, thus mitigating increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.
The MDA plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. It also formulates and administers regulatory policies and guidelines for the industry. The media industry in Singapore is regulated by various legislation and codes of practice. Media businesses or professionals need to be licensed in order to provide services in Singapore. Currently, the MDA issues the TV Receive-Only (TVRO) System licenses to organizations that need to access time-sensitive information for business decisions. Direct-to-home (DTH) transmission is not allowed.
The U.S. Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) went into force on January 1, 2004. This agreement, the United States' first FTA with an Asian nation, makes Singapore one of the strongest Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regimes outside of the United States thus giving strong IPR protection to American firms doing business in Singapore. The USSFTA includes state-of-the-art protection for trademarks, including government involvement in resolving dispute between trademarks and Internet domain names; extended terms for copyright protection; strong anti-circumvention provision to prohibit tampering with technologies that are designed to prevent piracy; criminal penalties for companies that use unlicensed software; and protection for encrypted program-carrying satellite signals. The USSFTA also includes special provisions dealing with electronic commerce, competition policy and state enterprises, and customs cooperation. In addition, the agreement contains provisions for transparency and dispute settlement.
Singapore has a dynamic and innovative infocomm industry. Its annual revenue grew 38 per cent from 2006 to reach US$47.3 billion (S$62.74) billion in 2009 and is expected to continue to increase. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), responsible for all the infocomm systems and capabilities of the Government of Singapore (GOS), announced 350 infocomm projects, amounting to roughly US$820 million (S$1.1 billion) in ICT procurement tenders for FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011). Various government agencies including the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), among others, are set to enhance and develop their respective infocomm systems to increase efficiencies and create new capabilities. During FY2010, it is noted a large number of tenders will be relatively small translating to a focus towards a wider range of projects and opportunities. The current focus of infocomm development for the GOS is planned towards new and innovative technologies, such as cloud computing and Web 2.0 capabilities, among others. Many U.S. firms consider GOS procurement system to be fair and transparent. Not only is Singapore a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, the U.S.-Singapore FTA provides increased access for American firms to GOS procurement.
The Government is a major catalyst for integration of new technologies by being a major buyer of ICT products and services. The Government does so, through the IDA. The IDA functions as its Chief Information Officer and is responsible not just for master-planning, but also for project-managing and implementing various infocomm systems and capabilities for the government. For FY 2010, the government plans to invest US$820 million (S$1.1 billion) in tenders and companies should look forward to about 350 new tenders ranging from less than US$377,000 (S$500,000) to over US$7.5m (S$10m).
The government aims to grow the infocomm sector and to use infocomm technologies to enhance the competitiveness of key economic sectors and build a well-connected society. To such ends, in 2006 the government spearheaded the iN2015, a ten year master plan to develop the infocomm sector in Singapore. Most recently the iGov2010 under the iN2015 Master plan had concluded. It aimed to achieve an Integrated Government (iGov) that delights customers and connects citizens through the use of infocomm technology. The initiative saw transformation of the government’s IT infrastructure through the Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) tender which totaled US$980 million (S$1.3 billion). The results of GOS efforts are seen in several global rankings: 2nd in The Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010 of the World Economic Forum and 1st for 2010 in Waseda University International 3-Government Rankings.
As GOS moves forward to the next phase of iN2015 it will continue to leverage on emerging technologies such as cloud computing, business analytics and new media to enhance service delivery and collaboration between government, businesses and citizens. Excluding “one-off” projects such as SOE School and Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) tenders, the GOS investment into ICT has grown 26.4% from US$656 million (S$870 million) in 2009 to US$829 million (S$1.10 billion) this year reflecting the consistent trend of growing investment into ICT. ICT projects in FY2010 onwards are expected to embody seven key themes: cloud computing, ubiquitous presence, social media, open data and services, sustainable technologies, business analytics, and "OneInbox" and data repository.
The GOS is projected to spend US$820 million (S$1.1 billion) in Fiscal Year 2010, more than 50% of the 350 tenders are valued at <US$377,000 (<S$500,000), translating to smaller, diverse opportunities for companies to acquire tenders.
For the next few years, we expect GOS investments in ICT to continue to grow. Excluding “one-off” major projects such as SOE, NGNBN and SOE Schools, the investment in ICT has increased on average 11% annually since FY2007 and it is expected to continue..
More than 350 new ICT projects are planned for FY2010, all of which are categorized into four areas of focus: Business Strategic projects are new projects which leverage technology to transform the way the GOS conducts its business. Data Management projects are those which will manage data as a resource for greater value, and Infrastructural projects are aimed to build and provide infrastructure capabilities while Transactional projects continue to refresh and enhance existing systems to create new capabilities.
Besides open tenders, the GOS shortlists applicants and requests bids through Calls-For- Collaboration (CRC) and Calls-For-Proposal (CFP). Recently, the GOS announced a CFP to develop a program to support video services on the NGNBN. To support the development of services on the NGNBN, the IDA has launched a second CFP for the Next Generation Services Innovation Program (NGSIP).
Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, operations sustainability and new ways of transacting information through new media and Web 2.0 initiatives will be the focus in upcoming government tenders as well business intelligence (BI), ubiquitous presence and social media among others.
It is not uncommon for consortiums to bid for tenders, such as the US$980 million ($S1.3 billion) SOEasy project in FY2007 which was awarded to one Meridien, a consortium led by EDS International and a key member included SCS. More recently, a consortium led by NCS, a SingTel subsidiary, won the second tender for the SOE School program of the Ministry of Education, a US$651,000 million (S$850 million) project in June 2010. It should be noted that in 2008 NCS acquired its rival SCS.
There are few key agencies highlighted to have announced tenders for FY2010, of which are listed below.
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
Infocomm Development Agency
Ministry of Education
Public Service Division
National Council of Social Services
Ministry of Defense
Institute of Technical Education
Civil Aviation Authority
Energy Market Authority
Maritime and Port Authority
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
Central Provident Fund Board
Ministry of Manpower
The Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) responsible for the comprehensive social security savings for the elderly population has a few key projects which include the development and implementation of a new CPF Member System, Intranet and Office Workflow System, and the upgrading of the SAP financial system. The CPF Member System aims to increase the operational and business process efficiency to enhance public service delivery to its customers while the aim for the Intranet and Office Workflow is to enable information sharing and collaboration through a new staff intranet portal. The upgrade of the SAP system will create new employee self services and business capabilities for the CPF. These tenders are projected to amount up to more than US$15 million (S$20 million) in total.
The Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) is expected to call tenders for several key projects including the Central Picture Archiving Communication System, an electronic based military healthcare system which will streamline the storage of records for Singapore Armed Forces personnel as well as the Enterprise Document Workflow Management System in order to facilitate MINDEF’s electronic approval processes. The tenders are to be valued within the range of US$2.3 million (S$3 million) to US$7.5 million (S$10 million) each.
Suppliers, both local and foreign can search for government procurement opportunities, download tender documents, and submit their bids online.
Working with established partners (such as those who have previously won tenders from government agencies) is an effective method to enter the GOS market. Since the GOS often requires bidding companies to be registered in Singapore or have the intention of doing so, major U.S. firms such as Cisco and Microsoft operate offices in Singapore. These established partners would have invaluable experience and knowledge of local conditions and government buyer requirements.
The IDA holds a key role in cooperating with the industry to find and develop innovative ways to use ICT in order to enhance the delivery of government services, to encourage the private sector and citizens, and strengthen the infocomm infrastructure of Singapore.
Market Issues & Obstacles
Although the Singaporean government procurement system is considered to be fair and transparent by many American firms, some U.S. and local firms have expressed concerns that government-owned and government-linked companies (GLCs) may receive preferential treatment in the government procurement process. The GOS denies it gives any preferences. It should be noted Singapore is a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
The U.S. Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) that went into force in January 1, 2004 includes extended terms for copyright protection, protection for trademarks and criminal penalties for companies that use unlicensed software among others. The USSFTA outlines special provisions dealing with concerns such as competition policy as well as provisions for transparency and dispute settlement. The USSFTA gives strong IPR protection to American firms doing business in Singapore and provides increased access for U.S. companies to Singapore’s central government procurement.
Total Market Size
Total Local Production
Imports from the U.S.
Exchange rates used
US$1 = S$1.53
US$1 = S$1.49
US$1 = S$1.45
Figures are in millions of US$. The statistics are unofficial estimates
Singapore is a mature and sophisticated market for IT products and services. According to the 2006 survey carried out by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore, 77% of Singaporean households owned at least one home computer and almost 9 in 10 households with school-going children had access to a home computer. Seventy-one percent of households had home Internet access and in these homes, almost all (97%) used computers as the mode of access while 9% used Internet-enabled cell phones. Usage of computers was 100% in businesses with more than 250 employees but the usage level declined to 62% for companies with fewer than 10 employees. Usage of infocomm network technologies was similarly higher for larger companies.
Singapore’s domestic market for computer hardware and software amounted to US$3.7 billion in 2006, according to the IDA’s Annual Survey on the Infocomm Industry for 2006.
Best prospects include application software, security solutions, and government projects. The Singapore market is very dependent on imports and multinational corporations located on the island to provide for its IT requirements. U.S. products are traditionally well received in Singapore as the United States is seen as the source for state-of-the-art technologies. Singapore also acts as a major distribution center for companies interested in selling to the region as reflected by re-export data. More than two-thirds of computer hardware and software imported into Singapore are re-exported to third countries in Asia.
Singapore presents a lucrative and expanding market for U.S. companies that would like to provide IT goods and services to the public sector. The government continues to aggressively implement and adopt infocomm technology while it has already won significant recognition for its e-governance, topping Accenture’s annual e-government survey in 2007. In FY2007 (April 2007 – March 2008), the Singapore government expects to issue S$730 million (US$480 million) worth of new IT tenders. As in previous years, it is expected to spend more than the estimated budget.
A major program under iGov2010 is a government-wide Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) to be implemented by the 4th quarter of FY2010 across 60,000 seats and 87 different agencies. It will comprise a standard desktop operating environment, a standard messaging and collaboration environment, and a standard network environment. On June 21, 2007, four pre-qualified consortia submitted bids for the SOE, all of which include one or more U.S.-based companies. The final contract, estimated to be worth S$1.5 billion (US$1 billion) over eight years, is expected to be awarded in 2008.
Call for collaborations (CFC) were launched to spur IT initiatives in certain sectors of the Singapore economy.
In healthcare, a CFC - the second for the sector - was launched to identify solutions that will improve the quality of healthcare delivery and efficiency in Singapore’s public and private healthcare institutions.
Within the transport sector, a CFC was launched to bring together the seaport community and solution providers to develop and launch innovative content and applications on WISEPORT. WISEPORT (Wireless-broadband-access at SEaPORT) is a project to deploy a WiMAX network that will cover Singapore’s port waters and surrounding coastal areas.
In the digital media and entertainment arena, the IDA invited industry players to submit information and concept proposals for a program to harness Virtual Worlds technologies to realize the iN2015 Digital Media and Entertainment vision.
In education, the IDA is working with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to transform the educational experience through the FutureSchools@Singapore project. The FutureSchools are a group of schools that will leverage on state-of-the-art technologies and innovative school designs to develop innovative curriculum, pedagogies and assessment programs.
In the tourism sector, the Digital Concierge initiative launched in June 2007 leveraged Singapore's new anytime-anywhere Internet Wi-Fi access or the available cellular network, to offer personalized and location-based services such as recommendations on where to go, where to eat and what to do.
According to the latest study by New York-based Access Market International (AMI) Partners Inc., small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Singapore are on track to spend as much as US$2 billion on information technology in 2008. The bulk of IT spending will come from three key sectors - professional services, retail/wholesale and manufacturing - which will account for over 60 per cent of overall IT spend in 2008. Since 2004, Singapore-based SMBs have been investing heavily in wireless connectivity solutions including wireless LAN (local area networks), VPN (virtual private networks) and WAN (wide area networks), according to AMI. Coupled with aggressive branch office plans, Singapore SMBs are looking to implement solutions that will enable them to keep in contact with remote locations while simplifying the management of inter-office moves and facilitating smooth employee relocations.
Las Vegas Sands and Malaysian conglomerate Genting are currently building two mega-billion integrated resorts in Singapore and information technology is a critical part of these two projects. There are therefore excellent opportunities for U.S. IT companies to participate in the two initiatives. Las Vegas Sands’ integrated resort includes a casino, hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, trade exhibition and convention space. Genting is building an integrated resort including a casino, hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and a Universal Studios theme park. The two resorts are expected to start operations in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
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Just outside the bar @ the Singapore Hotel where the Singapore Sling cocktail