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Commentary: IDA’s smart nation vision needs buy-in

By:
17 Jun
2014
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IDA AG box
An IDA AG box providing power and connectivity to nearby sensors

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) today talked up a grand vision to turn Singapore into a “smart nation”, one where sensors everywhere could pick up traffic congestion, predict how long taxis will take to come and even detect pollution in the air.

It’s not a new idea. Indeed, many government agencies have already been adding “smarts” to their existing hardware, like cameras, over the past few years. Yet, IDA’s effort is laudable in many ways.

It wants to centralise the effort and get both public and private organisations to share the infrastructure and connect to a common interface. This can jumpstart many new services.

 
Tagged in: Enterprise, Internet, Singapore, Above Ground boxes, CommunicAsia 2014, IDA, Internet of Things, Singapore, Smart Nation,  
 

Commentary: SingPass security issues highlight need for two-factor authentication

By:
5 Jun
2014
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singpass screenshot

Yet another high-profile security problem has hit e-government services in Singapore, just months after several of the country’s websites were vandalised by hackers.

This time, more than 1,500 SingPass online accounts used to check retirement account balances and file taxes could have been accessed without users’ consent.

 
Tagged in: Enterprise, Internet, security, 2FA, cyber crime, e-government, IDA, Singpass,  
 

Can a new cellphone operator boost competition in Singapore?

By:
3 May
2014
1 Comment
 

IDA_Singapore_Logo

Ask any Singapore cellphone user if he is happy these days and chances are you will hear a litany of complaints. From frequent network outages to higher 4G prices, users here have had to contend with a frustrating experience when they peer into their little screens of late.

Thus when news broke last week of a government push for new players to enter the Singapore market, many consumers could be forgiven for hoping for a change.

 
Tagged in: Cellphones, Singapore, 4G, IDA, MVNO, Singapore, StartHub, telecom industry,  
 

Singapore telcos told: no 4G add-on fee for users on contract

By:
24 Apr
2014
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starhub_logo

While Singapore’s smartphone users celebrate a rare consumer victory today, they should not be so quick to think that the temporary reversal of a 4G price hike will lead to free add-ons like caller ID in future.

Goodwill was probably topmost on the minds of StarHub executives yesterday, when they decided not to charge an additional S$2 for existing 4G customers still on contract.

This doesn’t mean it is no longer charging that additional fee. It just won’t do so, for now, for those customers who have said they did not know that 4G would be priced separately when they signed up.

 
Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, Internet, Singapore, 4G, IDA, M1, Singapore telecoms, SingTel, StarHub,  
 

IDA looks to mobile virtual network operators to spur competition in Singapore

By:
22 Apr
2014
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The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is looking to bring some much-needed competition to the Singapore mobile market by turning to new mobile operators that “ride” on existing infrastructure in the years ahead.

Such mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) do not own any spectrum or network equipment, instead leasing them from incumbent operators to sell repackaged services to consumers.

 
Tagged in: Cellphones, Singapore, IDA, MVNO, Singapore, telecoms,  
 

Commentary: StarHub starts charging for 4G

By:
17 Apr
2014
1 Comment
 

Much of the unhappiness with StarHub charging for 4G services has nothing to do with the seemingly small S$2 hike, but the surprise that it brought to customers.

They never expected to pay more for the faster speeds promised over existing 3G services. Like free incoming calls, the new service was not expected to cost extra, despite StarHub quite clearly stating that possibility in its terms when people sign up.

It’s not that consumers are daft, for not reading the fine print. They just don’t expect the cellphone market to be less competitive over time. 

 
Tagged in: Cellphones, Singapore, 4G, competition, IDA, M1, Singapore telecoms, SingTel, StarHub,  
 

SingTel: no plans to charge consumers separately for WhatsApp

By:
28 Feb
2014
1 Comment
 

singtel facebook

SingTel has clarified that it has no plans to charge consumers separately for using the WhatsApp service, as well as for other so-called over-the-top services that make use of the Internet connection it offers.

In several posts on Facebook yesterday evening, the telecom operator explained that a separate WhatsApp plan, announced last year, was aimed at those who want to have unlimited WhatsApp messages at a fixed cost. 

 
Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, Internet, Singapore, IDA, net neutrality, service charges, SingTel, WhatsApp,  
 

M1 fined for poor mobile coverage, SingTel and StarHub pass tests

By:
24 Jan
2014
1 Comment
 

Nationwide 3G coverage - Q2 2013

M1 has been given a S$25,000 fine for once again failing to provide adequate cellphone coverage in Singapore, while rivals SingTel and StarHub passed the tests conducted by the government regulator in the second and third quarter last year.

In the second quarter, the smallest operator here reached about 98 per cent of places such as housing estates, outdoor recreation centres and train routes above ground, which made it the poorest performer among the three operators. It also failed to reach the 99 per cent required.

 
Tagged in: Cellphones, Internet, Singapore, coverage tests, IDA, M1, SingTel, StarHub,  
 

Five ways technology and media can improve in 2014

By:
31 Dec
2013
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2014 road ahead

There are so many ways to look back at some of the technology and media news headlines in 2013, but perhaps the most practical one is to see how things can improve in the new year.

From the controversial last-minute changes to Singapore’s do-not-call list to the high-profile outages to the country’s telecom networks, 2013 has had its share of reminders that technology should improve things, not make life harder for its users.

 
Tagged in: Cellphones, Enterprise, Featured, Internet, Singapore, Breakfast Network, cyber defence, do-not-call list, IDA, Netflix, Pay-TV, PDPC, Singapore critical infrastructure, SingTel fire, Spotify,  
 

Commentary: Singapore’s do-not-call list disappoints with last-minute changes

By:
26 Dec
2013
15 Comments
 

pdpc

Just days before landmark privacy regulations are to come into effect in Singapore, the government regulator has suddenly changed its mind and decided it’s okay for companies to continue sending users telemarketing messages as long as they have an “ongoing relationship” with the companies.

Despite already saying no to such messages, phone users will still receive SMSes or faxes, say, to sign up for related services even after January 2, 2014, the day a do-not-call list comes into effect.

Simply put, the say-no-to-spam list that you have signed up this past month is not enough to keep annoying phone spammers away. You still have to unsubscribe individually to each company – just like before the long-deliberated privacy law had been drawn up.

 
Tagged in: Cellphones, Enterprise, Featured, Internet, Singapore, do-not-call list, exemptions, IDA, PDPC, privacy law,