March 10th, 2005

Singapore overtakes US to lead Global IT Report

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Wohoo! (WEF Weblog)

Singapore is the world’s top economy in exploiting global IT developments, according to the world Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2004-2005. The US ceded its top spot and dropped to fifth place, while the Nordic countries continued their impressive track record. Asia performed extremely well this year, as did Estonia, South Africa and Israel in their respective regions.

Also reported on Forbes :-)

January 3rd, 2005

Second Level .sg available for registration


Yohoo! Finally .sg is open for 2nd level domain name registration :-)

SGNIC announced in August last year that it was opening the second-level ‘.sg’ domain names to create more choices and a vibrant Internet environment in Singapore through the proliferation of such domain names. Second-level ‘.sg’ domain names like are shorter and easier to remember as compared to its third-level counterpart e.g. Registration for second-level domain names is also simpler, is open to both locals and foreigners alike and requires no documentary proof.

This is the result of the hardwork of many people over an year so congz to all those folks involved particularly my colleagues in SGNIC1. Yes, it took so long because it comes with several policy changes including dropping the documentary proof requirements. We couldn’t succeed in reducing the pricing yet tho but hey, S$50 (~US$35) per year arent too bad now for a start.

So go grab your .sg from your favourite registrars. I already got mine registered2 so okay, you can stop asking me why I am using .cc.

1 I play a small role in making little recommendations here and there only aka kapo’ing.

2 I use Vooju. It is a company setup by my friends, ex-i-DNS folks so please go give them your support.

November 19th, 2004

Technology Bets


Technology Bets is a process Technology group within IDA taken every year to identify 10-15 strategic technology in the next 1 to 5 years based on two criteria (1) attractiveness of the technology and (2) relevance of the technology to Singapore. My group in IDA is responsible for doing this identification process and you can find last year Technology Bets here.

Today, we finally unveil the Technology Bets for 2005. For the very first time, I presented the 15 technologies identified at the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) Emerging Technology Seminar this morning.

So what are the 15 technologies? Unfortunately, I cant reveal here until it is up on IDA website so stay tune ;-)

Update 22th March: We quietly update IDA website with the 15 techbets last week.

November 5th, 2004

Impact on VoIP

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A European study shows that more people are jumping onto VoIP.

Over 50 million western European consumers with a broadband Internet connection at home may use telephony software and special phones by 2008, British research group Analysys found.

“The impact on traditional telephony providers’ revenues could reach 6.4 billion euros in 2008, representing 13 percent of the residential fixed-line voice market,” said analyst Stephen Sale, adding this was a worst case scenario drawn up for operators who want to know how badly they can be hit.

This is sharp contrast to some other data I seen (particularly from AT&T) where it projects less then 5% will be on VoIP by 2008. Anyway, data are data…no one knows for sure but the impact is definately going to be real.

Incidently, IDA public consultation on IP Telephony and ENUM just closed today (30mins ago) and we recieved 13 comments (at the bottom of the page here), from the local players like Singtel to other players like AT&T and Vonage. Thanks for the feedback … Got to do some reading this weekend. :-)

September 26th, 2004

Job Opening in IDA


There is a opening in my team in IDA for Senior Consultant, Enabler Technologies. Senior Consultant in the Technology Group is a pretty senior position equivalent to a ‘Senior Manager’. Candidates must have at least 5 years of ICT experience and deep technical knowledge in the Next Generation Network. It is definately a plus plus if you know the following technology: IPv6, IP Telephony, GRID, Virtualization, Semantic Web, Social Software etc.

If you are interested, send in your resume thru JobStreet or to me directly.

Since we are on this topic, let me say a bit what we do in IDA. Essentially, we monitor emerging ICT technologies especially disruptive technologies that has significant economic or social impact to Singapore. We would then evangelize the technology and prepare the top management (or higher) on the new trend and also assist in formulating strategies to leverage such technologies for Singapore benefit. In the last 2 years, my team have been responsible for several initiatives such as Open Source, Antispam and recently IP Telephony & ENUM.

In a way, we are also the trusted technology advisors to the management and other divisions within IDA. So while IT vendors would be telling how good such and such technology is we would be whisper to the management1 “actually hor…it is pure BS”. :-)

We are one of the smallest team in IDA under the CTO but our work is extremely important to ensure Singapore is not blind-sided by technology development. And the (almost) all-geeks team are innocent, fun-loving and are crazy over technologies and gadgets (like Dilbert :-).

1 Of course, we have to do our homework and that involves hands-on technology evaluation before giving any advises.

September 24th, 2004

Busy week

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It has been a busy with with APEC TEL 30 hosted by IDA/Singapore. For those who don’t know about APEC TEL, it is a group that meets once every quarter and reports to the TELMIN, a gathering of APEC IT Ministers. It has 4 steering committees looking at technology, business, liberalization and human resource development. But most important of all, APEC TEL is an incredible networking week, esp. for Government-to-Governmnt (G2G) collobrations. Dinners hosted by telcos, Lunches hosted by operators, receiptions in the evening just went on and on. (I have dinner at Lei Garden twice this week. my god!).

Surprisingly, I met some pretty cool people! The Head of Delegation from US, Elizabeth W. Shelton from Department of State was an incredible smart lady. Then, Al Vincent who runs the Institute of Telecommunication Sciences under NTIA/Department of Commerce is a fellow Doom’er (Yes, he loves Doom3). He just went over to Singapore Poly and turned their VR room for molecule-simulations into this super-immerse-reality-Quake-game. :P And Simon Lin who runs Academic Sinica spend a large amount of time educating me about their work on LCG (Large-Hadron-Collider Computing Grid Project (LCG) for the CERN’s particle accelerator) and have been extremely kind and helpful in introducing many other interesting people to me.

In addition to this, Brian McBride and Paul Shabajee also choose to come to Singapore this week to work on the Digital Content Exchange project. And David West who is trying to put together the TIEN2 project is also in town!

Now this is over, let me see what do I have in my email…OMG!

September 21st, 2004

IP Telephony and ENUM

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There is a APEC TEL NGN Brainstorming session this morning. I was one of the speaker for the session and did a presentation on IP Telephony and ENUM.


Singapore also made a contribution on both IP Telephony and Spectrum management. Both my presentation and Singapore contribution was well-received by the participants and I got a lot of feedbacks after the session.

IDA also announced a proposed policy framework for IP Telephony and ENUM this afternoon1 and it is open for public consultation! It is a long journey for our virtual team who has spend over a year on this!

As part of its continuing efforts to engage the public in policy development to benefit the infocomm industry, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) seeks views on the policy framework to facilitate the introduction of Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony and Electronic Numbering (ENUM) in Singapore…more

Some highlights:

1. IP Telephony will be classified under SBO(Individual) license instead of the more heavy FBO license.
2. Licensee is entitled to apply numbers in a new number block +65 3xxx xxxx.
3. Optional interconnection with PSTN, no QoS, no emergency service and no universal obligation.

It is as light touch as you can get … :-)

1 In other words, it is not announced by me.

2 There is also a short explaination of IP Telephony & ENUM.

September 20th, 2004

Internationalization and IDN

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Today is the 2nd day of APEC TEL 30, which is hosted by IDA in Singapore. I spend my afternoon at a side event, organized by APDIP to soliciate feedbacks from AP region on Internet Governance issues as part of the WSIS process workings towards Tunis 2005.

And I gave a presentation on my fav topic, Internationalization and IDN (What else? :-)

August 27th, 2004

Digital Content Exchange


semantic-web-layers.jpgMy team called for a tender to build a prototype for a Digital Content Exchange using Semantic Web technology 2 months back and we awarded the contract to HP last week. More specifically, it is awarded to Semantic Web team in HP Labs leaded by Brian McBride, the creator of Jena.

Oh yea, if you think speaking to geeks is bad, try speaking to Semantic Web people. I find myself saying “using the taxonomy and thesaurus from 386, we can construct the OWL and also reference RDF for content owners and then application developers can build facets browser by syndicating these RDFs” and honestly, I have no idea what I just said :-)

August 20th, 2004

Singapore e-Government


A nice article was published on Public Sector Technology & Management, (a site that discuss IT usage in Asia governments) on Singapore e-government. (via InternetPolicy)

Amidst the flags and fly pasts, and other very visible signs of four decades of Singaporean nation building, a profound civic achievement deserves the attention of anyone interested in Asian IT-enabled governance. Put simply, Singapore has succeeded in leveraging the web to create one of Asia’s most engaged citizenries.

What the article did not say is that much of the credit goes to IDA, the agency in Singapore responsible for most of the government IT infrastructure services and implementing e-government services among other things. (Yes, we don’t just put stickers on your handphones). For example, many countries are still talking about how good would it be to have IT integration between different ministries and agencies and to perhaps provide a single login to all government services like tax filing etc, in Singapore style, we already done it (see Singpass).

This is one of the many reasons I am proud to be working in IDA.