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Singapore to share smart city experiences at NIST-organised Global City Teams Challenge 2018

According to a press release by the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), Singapore is to share its experience in Wireless@SG programme and two other initiatives at the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) 2018. 

Organised by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the US Department of Commerce, the GCTC is a collaborative platform for the development of smart cities and communities. It brings together more than 160 smart cities and communities; and 400 organisations, working together to establish and demonstrate replicable, scalable and sustainable smart city models.

Under this year’s theme “Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge”, Singapore has submitted three proposals, which were all accepted, to share its experience and learnings in its Smart City journey.

The three submissions by Singapore are:

(1)    Deployment of user-friendly, secure, and sustainable federated public Wi-Fi systems, by IMDA

(2)    The Inclusive Smart City: Tech to tackle jobs displacement in a digital economy, by Singapore Tech (SGTech)

(3)    Reduced customs clearance time with virtual extension of sea ports and other customs-bonded areas using electronic cargo tracking, by Ascent Solutions

Since 2006, Wireless@SG has been the largest free Wi-Fi network in Singapore. As reported earlier, Wireless@SG now covers around 10,000 hotspots located in public spaces, offering internet access at 5Mbps. IMDA plans to double the network to 20,000 hotspots by 2020 to reach more locations.

According to IMDA, it continues to engage members of the infocomm ecosystem and businesses to drive the adoption of Wireless@SG among enterprises. Businesses and building owners can provide free Wi-Fi to their patrons by partnering operators to extend Wireless@SG service within their premises on commercial arrangements. By doing so, they can leverage on Wireless@SG’s standardised and secured login mechanisms i.e. SIM login while achieving cost efficiency to access their own enterprise services over the same Wireless@SG network.

At the same time, SGTech has developed a career guidance programme using technology. According to Executive Director of SGTech Ms Ho Semun, the project uses AI and data analytics “to facilitate reskilling and job transitions by helping displaced workers find suitable careers in the tech sector, and then supporting them through the process of adapting to their new roles.”

In the press release, Chief Executive of IMDA Mr Tan Kiat How, said “the proposals bring to the table Singapore’s reputation for secure and trusted solutions; promote business opportunities for enterprises through NIST’s GCTC multi-city platform; and enable Singapore to participate in harmonising global standards.”

He continued that Singapore also aim to engage and learn from other participants as we drive towards achieving our Smart Nation and Digital Economy ambitions.

Similarly, Ms Ho also see the participation of SGTech in the GCTC community a way for Singapore “to contribute to and learn from global developments on the future of jobs in smart cities.”

In fact, Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives are often seen as case studies by the international community. For example, as reported previously, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), has released a new case study offering an evaluation of Singapore's progress in meeting the objectives of the country's Smart Nation strategy last November. The ITU also stated that the Singapore case study provides a valuable reference point to other cities pursuing greater efficiency and sustainability as well as for standardisation experts.

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