Asides from being the leading light in the Smart Cities arena, Singapore actually aspires to be more than a Smart City. Being both a city as well as a state, Singapore is blessed with the opportunity to be able to apply Smart City concepts at the national level.
In November 2014, Singapore launched her Smart Nation initiative in anticipation of an exciting prospect of being able to create a home where people live purposeful and fulfilled lives, integrated seamlessly by technology.
Recently, recognising the potential of infocomm media to power the digital transformation of Singapore’s economy, has led to convergence of our infocomm and media sectors, namely the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and Media Development Authority (MDA).
“Advances in technology have blurred the distinction between broadcasting and telecommunications. The reorganisation of IDA and MDA is therefore, not only timely, but a positive development,” said Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of the Infocomm Media Masterplan Steering Committee.
This convergence aims to revitalise and renew our service and manufacturing industries, affect the digital transformation of government services.Above all, it will form an exciting infocomm media industry which serves as a platform for young people to pursue their dreams and chase ‘rainbows’.
The first organisation will be the Info-Communications Media (IMDA) which will be the converged promoter and regulator of the infocomm media sector.
This body will implement the 2025 plan with the aim of creating an enterprising and invigorating sector, brimmed with opportunities for growth. It would also be responsible for intensifying enterprise regulations regulatory capabilities for a converged infocomm media sector, safeguarding the interests of customers and fostering pro-enterprise regulations.
Data protection in Singapore will still continue to be promoted and regulated so as to ensure that public confidence in the private sector’s use of personal data is safeguarded considering their more pervasive use and leverage of data. Of which, this Personal Data Protection Commission will be part of the new IMDA.
The second organisation will be the Government Technology Organisation (GTO).
GTO will lead digital transformations in the public sector. It will focus on providing a citizen-centric user experience and encourage the participation of citizens in the co-creation of public digital services.
GTO will ensure the security and resilience of the government’s IT infrastructure, thus helping to strengthen the nation’s cyber defences.
As the nexus of technology and engineering capability within the government, the new GTO will be well-placed to have government agencies capitalise on the speed of innovation and new technology trends such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and Big Data.
Therefore it will play an important role in supporting Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, especially in delivering the Smart Nation Platform and Smart Nation applications.
“The newly merged IMDA will also help bring the country closer towards its goal of establishing of a value-creating economy,” Mr Koh said.
To conclude, the government have expectations for the converged IMDA to continue to sustain and deepen the strong partners that IDA has established with the ITU. More collaborations and exchanges between ITU and IMDA will be expected in future as well.