The government of Singapore is planning to construct a telecommunications network designed specifically for public sector use, marking a significant change in thinking from the ‘norm’, which sees the state leasing connectivity rather than owning its own infrastructure. With local industry watchers suggesting the move could be to address data security concerns, the city-state says the project will drive Singapore’s ‘smart nation’ agenda and will include integration and connectivity for thousands of sensors being rolled out by government agencies to capture and collect data for various applications nationwide. The government has called a tender for contractors to design, build and commission the IP backbone network that will also carry mobile signals from base transceiver stations (BTS). The tender will close on 10 February and industry regulator the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) will select the telco with responsibility for operating the infrastructure on behalf of the government. No details have been published on the project’s estimated cost.
The IDA commented on the plan: ‘As Singapore becomes a smart nation, we see new areas and opportunities for the government to do more to assist, grow and build up a common infrastructure to support the deployment of smart nation applications … It is critical for the government to own key components of the IP core to ensure that such a platform is secure and trusted to safeguard potential sensitive information used across multiple government agencies.’