Honourable Heads of State and Ministers,
Secretary-General of the ITU,
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is my honour to participate in the Plenipotentiary Conference 2014. On behalf of the Singapore delegation, I would like to extend my appreciation to our gracious host, the Republic of Korea, for their warm hospitality and efficient organisation of this Plenipotentiary Conference. I would also like to congratulate the Chairman, Mr Wonki Min, on your election to this important position in the Conference.
The ICT sector has enjoyed continuous and outstanding growth over the last decade. Digital technology, broadband transmission, and cellular architecture have combined to bring revolutionary improvements to the lives of the majority of the world's people.
As we usher in the next phase of development in the ICT sector, especially with the advent of the Internet of Things, governments will need to find new and meaningful ways to leverage technology to enhance public service delivery and improve the lives of their citizens.
Singapore's Smart Nation Vision
In Singapore, we think that part of the answer lies in the development of "smart cities", built around intelligent applications, innovative practices and integrated systems. This is a vision which Singapore is committed to – to build Singapore into a Smart Nation which empowers citizens and facilitates anticipatory governance.
What a Smart Nation means to Citizens and Government?
Singapore believes that the effective use of open data and technology will enhance the quality of living for our citizens and empower them to make better and more informed decisions. For example, in the healthcare sector, wearable technology and digital healthcare have been making great strides in the last few years. The rapid adoption of wearable technology has opened up new opportunities to better manage patients' care, facilitate communication among care providers and empower people to make more informed decisions about their health. In the transport sector, there are mobile apps which integrate data from public transport systems that enable commuters to make decisions about the best route to their destinations based on crowding, traffic, and weather conditions. With the potential to integrate more pervasively across a range of transport modes, such apps could even facilitate car-pooling arrangements, resulting in significant improvements in transport efficiency and commuter experience.
A Smart Nation also facilitates anticipatory governance. Unlocking the potential of data will allow Governments to provide more responsive and citizen-centric public services. More resources can be deployed to areas of projected need; urban planners will have more concrete data on which to plan transportation links and urban spaces; government agencies will receive direct feedback from people which they can act on immediately.
Smart Nation Platform
A key critical component of Singapore's Smart Nation Vision is the Smart Nation Platform or the SNP in short. The SNP is a nationwide network providing pervasive connectivity across Singapore for a host of sensors and devices. The SNP will revolve around three key concepts: "Connect", "Collect" & "Comprehend". The first phase of the SNP which focuses on "Connect" and "Collect" will be available by 2015.
"Connect", "Collect & Comprehend"
To 'Connect', Singapore will progressively deploy Aggregation Gateway Boxes or AG Boxes and Heterogeneous Network or HetNet. The AG Boxes will provide street level connectivity points for fibre access and power, and infrastructure for sensor deployment. The HetNet will allow users to connect more seamlessly and operate their devices across different wireless networks such as cellular and Wi-Fi.
To "Collect & Comprehend", a mesh of sensors will be deployed across Singapore to capture real-time data which will be anonymised, protected, managed and shared by public agencies. These data will be analysed and used to generate insights which will aid the formulation of timely and appropriate policies and services for citizens.
Collaboration with ITU and other Member States on Smart Cities
Singapore notes that many countries such the Republic of Korea, Japan, Spain and Denmark, already have a wealth of experience in developing smart technologies for their cities. As Singapore gears up to realise our Smart Nation vision, we see much potential for us to collaborate with our international partners. We must be open to learning from one another, and be entrepreneurial in collaborating to leverage and multiply on our individual successes.
The ITU has been playing an important role in the management of radio spectrum, establishment of global standards, and development of telecommunication infrastructure and services. With more countries moving to adopt smart solutions as part of their urban development strategy, Singapore believes that it is vital for the ITU to continue its good work so as to respond effectively to a rapidly shifting ICT environment with diversifying needs.
The ITU will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015 and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the ITU for its outstanding work in connecting people around the world through ICT. To fully realise the ITU's Connect 2020 vision, I would like to urge all delegates and the ITU to leverage the strong foundation we have before us and contribute to building an inclusive information society where ICTs can bring benefits to all countries and their citizens.
With that, I would like to wish everyone a fruitful and successful Plenipotentiary Conference.
Thank you very much for your time and attention.