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Inside Singapore Telecommunications Limited’s Role in Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74) has a a big role to play in Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.

In Singtel’s last annual report, the telco outlined its three strategic priorities for the digital economy: cloud, cybersecurity, and smart city solutions. All three priorities could be significant growth drivers in the future.

A wide ocean

Businesses and governments are migrating to cloud-based services. This market is expected to grow to US$204 billion in 2016, according to Gartner.

Meanwhile, the growing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats is fuelling growth for managed cyber security services. The cyber security market is expected to hit US$27 billion by 2019, according to Gartner.

Most of all, Singapore is looking to position itself as the world’s first Smart Nation by 2025.

In Singtel’s earnings briefing for the quarter ended 30 September 2016, the company’s chief executive for Group Enterprise, Bill Chang, added some comments on the company’s efforts on the Smart Nation initiative and the importance of cyber security:

“… the smart nation rollout in Singapore continues, and there we’re a major partner with the government so we’re in the midst of working out a number of key deployments and also new projects we’re pursuing in another area, cybersecurity, where in the light of what’s happening around the world.”

Later on, Chang also said that safety is a key consideration of Singapore’s Smart Nation goal:

“So there is a lot of activity will come into this whole picture, and specifically the government is not just looking to build a smart nation but also a safe and smart nation securely; it’s top of mind for them.”

Chang believes that more companies will be waking up to the fact that cybersecurity is one of the top items in the agenda. Elsewhere, Singtel is also involved in other Smart Nation initiatives. In the same briefing, Chang pointed out a few areas that are picking up:

“Let me share with you specifically which areas are really taking on momentum.

In the transport sector transformation, that’s a very big movement in that area. In areas around health care, in areas around government in delivering better services, more online, a lot more in terms of engaging citizens, there’s a lot to be done. In areas around fintech and all that. This coming week there’s a big focus around that as well, driven by MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore).”

Singtel’s annual report has a little more detail around the initiatives mentioned. For instance, Singtel will be using advanced satellite technology for road congestion management (read: next-generation Electronic Road Pricing). This is expected to be rolled out in stages from 2020.

Meanwhile, Singtel’s Continuous Care Management solution will help healthcare institutions remotely engage with patients and track their conditions.

Foolish takeaway

Singtel cited that over 60% of the world’s population will live in or around a city by 2025. The telco believes that this movement will present urban challenges but also drive the need for smart city solutions. Singtel believes that it has a big role to play in enabling these solutions.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.