Huawei to partner firms and Infocomm Media Development Authority to grow ICT sector

People walk past a sign board of Huawei at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China May 12, 2016.
People walk past a sign board of Huawei at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia 2016 in Shanghai, China May 12, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is collaborating with Singapore companies and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to spur innovation.

Three memoranda of intent were signed between Huawei and partners IMDA, Keppel and Ascent Solutions on Wednesday (July 19).

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said at the signing that technology innovation is key to the country's development to be a knowledge-based economy.

"We are one of the most networked economies globally. Our agencies are collaborating with industry to ensure they continually update their capabilities, and having dedicated programmes to help our SMEs go digital," Mr Teo added.

He said government agencies will help larger companies, including multinational corporations and local enterprises, to partner small and medium sized firms to improve their capabilities and bring them to the global market.

Huawei, for instance, will be partnering Ascent Solutions, a global cargo tracking security company on a "narrow-band Internet of Things (IoT) tracking solution", which will be used by Huawei's IoT network services in 170 countries.

"This will expand Ascent's portfolio and expand their access to international markets, and provide Huawei customers with new offerings," Mr Teo noted.

Another focus is in providing the right digital infrastructure and finding new approaches to optimise scarce land and energy resources. An important part of this digital infrastructure is data centres, which deliver computing power, storage and networking for digital services.

Mr Teo cited Keppel's effort in capitalising on cloud computing, IoT, big data and advances in energy efficiency to develop next generation, high-rise data centres.

"These innovations in building design, rack design, intelligent controls, and new approaches to meet cooling needs, will help optimise land use and further reduce energy and carbon emissions by up to 15 per cent from the current best-in-class service provider data centres in Singapore," he added.

In addition, Huawei will be offering 45 internship positions to university students and National Infocomm Scholarship holders.

Mr Teo noted that the partnership between the Government agencies and the infocomm industry will also help to grow the pool of skilled manpower to support rapid digitalisation as demand for such workers outpace their supply worldwide.

Companies here estimated in an IMDA annual survey last year that demand for infocomm professionals will rise by more than 42,000 in the next three years (2017-2019).

"In Singapore, we will need more ICT professionals with a wide variety of skills - for instance, programmers, cybersecurity specialists, IT network engineers, user-experience designers," Mr Teo said.