The Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) and Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to accelerate the development of Singapore’s 5G ecosystem. The MOI was announced by Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran, at the launch of Microsoft’s global-first Experience Center Asia housed at their new Asia Pacific Regional Headquarters today.
Through the collaboration, IMDA and Microsoft will make available a 5G development environment for participating government agencies, enterprises and technology companies to co-create 5G use cases that can lead to the development of new 5G applications, services and capabilities. IMDA and Microsoft will offer 5G technical capabilities consultancy and share best practices on 5G standards, interoperability and security-by design principles to participating organisations.
The new collaboration builds on IMDA’s efforts announced in June 2019 to develop an open and inclusive 5G ecosystem, including developing a series of open testbeds for both government and industry use. Slated for launch in the first half of 2020, IMDA’s PIXEL innovation space will be the first open testbed to serve as a shared 5G Living Lab for the one-north tech and media start-up community.
Beyond providing 5G connectivity to support 5G use case development, PIXEL will also enable Center-to-Center collaboration with the Microsoft Technology Center, which is a part of the Experience Center Asia. Specifically, participating organisations can access mentorship and support to envision, qualify and build out 5G proof-of-concept use cases on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. IMDA and Microsoft will also jointly explore 5G use cases in strategic clusters such as Smart Estates, Urban Mobility, Industry 4.0, Maritime Operations, Consumer and Government applications, and involve their respective partner ecosystems to accelerate 5G capability development for these key industries.
“We are encouraged to see momentum for 5G innovation with more industry partners coming onboard to develop and build 5G capabilities. We believe that this collaboration with Microsoft will help to foster greater capabilities development for 5G applications and services. IMDA looks forward to more partnerships with enterprises, technology companies, research institutions and Institutes of Higher Learning in our efforts to drive 5G innovation to support Singapore’s Digital Economy,” said Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.
“The ability to harness the high speed, high capacity and low latency of 5G technology will open up new possibilities and a proliferation of innovative cloud-based applications across various industries. And when we infuse data, artificial intelligence and mixed reality into the cloud and power it with 5G, what you get is an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge which presents tremendous potential for the industry to come together to nurture a local ecosystem to help transform enterprises. With 5G slated for rollout in Singapore in 2020, the partnership with IMDA draws upon our respective strengths – IMDA’s vision, infrastructure and connections, together with Microsoft’s technology expertise, hyper-scale cloud platform, edge solutions and partner ecosystem – to enable a future of ubiquitous computing through 5G, cloud and edge technologies,” said Mr Kevin Wo, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore.
The collaboration will tap into Microsoft’s ongoing investments in 5G, mobile networks and edge computing. At the edge, where latency is the new currency, the company combines Azure as the intelligent cloud, edge computing, consistent development environments and microservices on an integrated platform that is all one hop away from the end user.