Lion City takes top bill in digital connectivity, ICT infra in Asia


Singapore stays on top of the game for its dominance in providing reliable, efficient, and affordable digital connectivity and the related workforce skills across the Asian region.

This was based on the recent Asian Digital Transformation Index, a global research ranking, which was facilitated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and funded by Telstra, a leading telecoms and technology firm.

With the country’s advancement in implementing a strategic ICT infrastructure as seen in the recent portfolio such as the 5G development plans and fibre network rollout, no doubt that EIU was very convinced that Singapore’s digital vision is a driving force in the region that puts them at the highest spot in the ranking.

Among the nations with the most reliable internet connectivity, nearly all in Singapore have superfast accessibility to the internet at 97%. Mainland China placed second at 77% and followed by Hong Kong at 74%.

The Index highlighted the significance of 5G mobile connectivity in achieving the full potential of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), Industry 4.0, and autonomous vehicles. By 2020, Singapore and South Korea are chasing each other to be the Asian leader in introducing 5G services. Also, Japan and mainland China are visibly busy in 5G planning for the near future.

In EIU’s rankings regarding digital skills and education, Singapore showed significant milestones, climbing three notches higher since the first Index release in 2016. The Lion City took the first rank in the Index, overtaking the other market leaders such as South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan in the human capital category.

Oliver Camplin-Warner, Telstra’s Head of International, noted that digital skills have ever since been an issue among Asian economies in their quest for embracing digital transformation.

Warner cited although Singapore’s digital transformation setting is one of the best globally, the shortages of skilled workers remain a barrier in achieving its full potential in the digital sphere.

Across Asia, the Telstra executive said hiring the right people with the right digital skills continues to be a short-term challenge that impacts many regional business operations. He added the West had the advantage over the East, but in the recent findings, we are seeing an improvement.

Based on EIU, Singapore is the strongest in Asia with the capacity to respond to talent and skills challenges. Initially, Singapore has a solid foundation in math and science education, which sets the needed trend for the pool of talents today and in the future.

Also, Singapore has put in place the greatest proportion of skilled telecommunications workers within its labor force. This brings a major impact to the region as IoT, AI, and Industry 4.0 technologies evolve as everything is getting connected.