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Singapore – Government Aims To Set Up Dedicated Network For ‘Smart Nation’ Project.

4 February, 2015

 


The Singaporean government is to set up its own telecommunications network to manage a network of sensors across the country as part of a ‘Smart Nation’ project, The Straits Times reported this week.

The ‘internet of things’ network will include security cameras across the centre of the city, and sensors to monitor things as diverse as potential flooding in drains and the health of elderly residents in their homes. The network will also carry signals from mobile base stations, according to documents seen by The Straits Times.

 

The government is looking for a supplier to operate this network on its behalf.  Where such an network would normally be owned by a telecommunications company and leased to clients including government bodies, the Singaporean government is keen to own parts of it for greater control and security.

 

The governmental move into the telecoms market has raised fears about changes to the competitive environment for telecoms companies within Singapore.

 

Telecoms expert Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons said: “While it is obvious that the telcos in Singapore might have concerns that government traffic would be diverted away from their networks, perhaps the silver lining is that telcos will be freed from carrying sensitive government traffic, reducing the security measures imposed on telcos wanting to carry that traffic. This may help the Singapore telcos overcome national security objections they faced when making overseas acquisitions.”

 

“The increased focus on cybersecurity could have also resulted in this development as a dedicated IP backbone would mean that the government could control its own network instead of relying on external service providers,” he said.

 

The tender for the newtork closes on 10 February. In a related development, Microsoft Singapore has announced an agreement with the Singaporean A*Star Institute for Infocomm Research to build a reference architecture for the Smart Nation platform.

 

Pinsent Msaons MPillay

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Jon Fell, Partner, Pinsent Masons

jon.fell@pinsentmasons.com

 

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