The government via the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, along with other relevant agencies is working together with major communications service providers to develop a comprehensive digital infrastructure plan to meet the people’s needs.
Communications and Multimedia Minister stated that discussions at the National Digital Infrastructure Laboratory (IDN Lab) had commenced on 13 July 2020 with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as its facilitator.
These firms had also briefed him on the latest development of the talks in Parliament today, he added.
In its first two weeks of the discussion, the Minister noted that the IDN Lab had agreed in principle on the nation’s aspirations and needed achievements concerning broadband coverage and services.
The Minister noted that special focus is being placed on plans to widen coverage in rural and remote areas, besides also improving broadband services as a whole.
The availability of existing digital infrastructure information as well as other relevant data from various sources would also be enhanced to enable more effective planning.
The results of the final discussions of the IDN Lab to finalise targets related to the development of the country’s digital infrastructure would be known in mid-August.
The government is concerned and aware of the people’s wish to enjoy a satisfactory level of connectivity and quality of experience in communications services.
The Minister stated, “the need for digital connectivity is becoming increasingly important, especially after Covid-19. The planning and construction of a more thorough, comprehensive and quality digital infrastructure that supports the economic sectors and new growth areas have become important aspects.
The results of the IDN Lab will provide a solid foundation very much needed for the 4th Industrial Revolution and 5G mobile technology.
Looking at the progress of the IDN Lab discussions so far, the Minister expressed confidence that a comprehensive digital infrastructure plan could be finalised to enable key sectors to benefit from the digital economy environment and new norms.
According to another article, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), hopes more industries will join the 5G Demonstration Projects, which will be held until the end of this year.
Its Minister stated that so far, a total of 71 5G Demonstration Projects had been successfully carried out and which would be helpful towards the government’s preparation to implement the 5G technology commercially later on.
For individual usage, KKMM is working to optimise 4G access for now, but for industries, there is a need for 5G technology.
The Minister noted that as for the oil and gas industry, only Petronas had joined the demonstration project, although his ministry believes that more companies from the industry would be keen to use the 5G technology later on.
In addition, the government is currently evaluating the level of usage and function of the 873 Internet centres nationwide.
This evaluation will help the government determine how much these Internet centres are being used and how up to date their assets are.
Various ministries will then determine if these centres can still be used or not; the situation will be clearer by the end of this year, the Minister assured.
Thailand is looking to develop a better ecosystem to support the Internet of Things (IoT) which has been heralded as an important tool. This technology will help the government attain its ambitious goal of building smart industries following the Covid-19 period.
5G wireless technology, which promises super-fast exchange of data, is crucial but was not emphasised when a multinational networking and telecommunications company looked at how the country can move towards the fourth industrial revolution focusing on technological advances.
Experts instead proposed an IoT ecosystem that requires a combination of key players such as technology service providers and the government to jointly facilitate factories connecting their machines, making them “speak” to one another and having them work automatically with a minimal amount of human involvement.
At a webinar on smart industries, it was noted that the local ecosystem was not ready for IoT. The webinar was co-organised by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Post Today and Bangkok Post.
Some state regulations make it difficult for developers to design new equipment for use in certain industries. Procedures that need official approval are usually time-consuming and do not encourage product development in the country. Some entrepreneurs are also uncertain whether they should adopt high-tech equipment at their factories, the Managing Director of a holding company under the largest and oldest cement and building material company in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
An automated warehouse, for example, can help businesses better manage their stocks without the need to employ many workers, but factory owners view the technology as too expensive and tend to ask when they will see returns on investment if they decide to build it. Experts feel it is not necessary to look into the future and calculate what entrepreneurs will gain, because “the investment already paid them back yesterday”.
Building an automated warehouse, in which items are stored, sorted and picked along vertical space by a computer system, is a sound investment from the start because such management helps businesses reduce storage areas and better manage costs.
OpenGov Asia also recently reported that social distancing has made everyone more dependent on technology, and new health techniques highlight the power of 5G, cloud technology and artificial intelligence, the President of the Carrier Business Group of the Asia Pacific branch of a Chinese multinational technology company noted.
Thailand, which is striving to become the region’s digital technology leader, has also taken a very aggressive approach towards both mobile and fixed broadband development.
To stimulate the 5G development and alleviate some of the investment required for operators, the Thai government has introduced flexible payment terms that allow 700 MHz and 2600 MHz licenses to be paid over ten years.
In addition to long-term planning well underway, Thailand has also proactively accommodated the needs of users dealing with social distancing and financial uncertainty with additional support for users including providing upgrades of FTTH services to 100Mbps and xDSL services to maximum capacity.
Policies like this have allowed the country to easily accommodate the change in digital dynamics brought on by COVID-19 and these early investments will also better position the economy for faster recovery post-pandemic.
The ASEAN region is predicted to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, economic entities in Asia. I light of this, proactive policies that accelerate the deployment and adoption of digital services are key to moving the economy ahead and ensuring continued reliable operation even in the face of adversity.
An incubatee at the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced that their latest solution is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
With the development and general application of Video Analytics Technology, smart parking solutions are not bound only to License Plate Recognition and Ticketless functions anymore.
The following systems and features of the solution are also designed by the company to cater to the growing needs of its clients, deriving from the application of Video Analytics Technology:
- Auto-Classification of Vehicle Type for fee-calculation or restriction: the solution can detect the car type, brand and model for different rate structures. It eliminates the need for a separate ticket unit for lorries and is especially suitable for car parks with loading bays and private car bays.
- Dynamic Rate Structure on Bay Location: Different rates can be applied for bays at different locations via video monitoring cameras. Drivers, who are willing to pay more or are in a rush, can park at bays with better locations at higher rates. Thus, bay allocations can be more efficiently managed.
- Bay-Counting function for Motorcycles: Motorcyclists can be informed of the floors with the most spaces on entry. Until recently, this function was, technically, almost unachievable with just sensors for detection in the past.
- Outdoor Parking Space Monitoring/Counting: This feature helps achieve the function of Bay Guidance for outdoor car parks. It is much more cost-effective than installing a sensor on every single bay for detection.
- Loading Bay Barrier-less Monitoring and Charging Function: this feature helps to overcome the general pain point of installing a barrier system for a loading bay for rate calculation and payment.
- Smart Bay Guidance Signage for EV Cars: EV Cars can be directed to the nearest and available bays with EV chargers, highly reducing congestion issues in car parks as well as enhancing user experiences and convenience.
- Mobile Parking Fee Payment via License Plate or Octopus Number: The issues of insufficient remaining values for Octopus Cards at the exit are reduced. This greatly eases the issue of queues at the exit. Vehicles with no outstanding payment can be allowed to leave by detection of the License Plate.
The service pledges for this solution include:
- 98% or above for License Plate Recognition Accuracy Rate
- Provisions of two LPR/Video Cameras per lane at different locations
- Expertise in camera location selection
- Provision of progressive training on OCR engine and Deep Learning capability
- Provision of high-quality preventive maintenance service to the system
The solution can be applied across the areas of City Management, Development, Population and Transport.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, Deep Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile Technologies and Video Analytics are the technologies employed in the solution.
Benefits of the solution include:
- Higher throughput rate for car parks
- Less congestion and queue at entrances and exits
- Effective and fair allocation of car park spaces for public
- Greater automation enables for more efficient management of manpower
- All-rounded Car Park Management Level
- Allows remote control of multiple car parks at a centralized location
- Higher public experience and convenience levels
- Integration with other Smart Solutions
- Data generation for further analysis of service improvement
- More environmentally friendly with fewer requirements on mechanical devices and cables
- Suitable for environments with different conditions
- In-line development with market trend
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has secured over HK$18 million funding from the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) of the Food and Health Bureau (FHB), to commence eight research studies on COVID-19. These projects cover a wide range of disciplines including health technology, biomedical sciences, healthcare, rehabilitation as well as social sciences.
PolyU hopes that research teams from different fields can contribute their expertise to supporting the local community in the fight against COVID-19 and to facilitating the formulation of pandemic control measures, thus helping to protect the health of the general public. The Research Council, chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, earlier approved the second batch of funding of HK$59 million, to support 23 research projects steered by local universities.
Among these 23 projects, eight are led by PolyU researchers from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, representing over 30% of the total funding and the total number of projects in the second batch. The project that received the most funding is a follow-up study on rehabilitation management of COVID-19 survivors, securing more than HK$4.47 million. These eight research studies are expected to last from one to two years.t
The Deputy President and Provost of PolyU stated that since the outbreak of the pandemic, PolyU has been facing unprecedented challenges in teaching, but its concerted determination to overcome these have not diminished the university’s efforts in research. Since February 2020, the institution has developed a rapid automated diagnostic system to detect COVID-19, designed a face shield for general use, and conducted various studies related to the pandemic.
On behalf of PolyU, the Provost expressed gratitude to FHB for taking more health technology and social sciences topics into consideration when granting the second batch of funding under the HMRF, allowing PolyU to conduct research projects on COVID-19 as commissioned by FHB. The university will continue to carry out more forward-looking studies and to keep up our efforts in research.
The Interim Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has lasted for months and has had a tremendous impact on global public health, as well as the economy and livelihood of people. PolyU hopes to utilise its expertise to render support to the community during this difficult time. The institution’s Interim VP also noted that the university is honoured to have eight projects funded by the HMRF and sincerely hope that its scholars can make good use of their research capabilities to support the fight against COVID-19.
The Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences also remarked that COVID-19 has affected people’s psychological well-being, as well as their physical health. Over the years, PolyU faculty has been providing the best education for social and health care professionals. In the face of this challenging time, the university’s faculty, together with its researchers, students and graduates of various disciplines, are working together to address the healthcare and social needs of the community.
The HMRF supports studies and projects initiated by individual investigators as well as those commissioned by the Food and Health Bureau to build research capacity, fill knowledge gaps, support policy formulation, address specific issues, assess needs and threats, conduct health promotion, and more.
The NSW Department of Customer Service (NSW DCS) has appointed a company that provides electronic data interchange (EDI) services for businesses to implement a sustainable e-invoicing solution that streamlines the payment experience for suppliers.
E-invoicing provides faster payments and automates the procure-to-pay process, providing many benefits for DCS and suppliers.
NSW DCS encompasses more than 30 different agencies, entities and business units, with excellent customer service a key goal across the organisation. DCS provides digital leadership and innovation in government services that align with the NSW Digital Government Strategy.
The e-invoicing was implemented using a Peppol-certified access point for NSW DCS, by creating a dedicated gateway on the deployed cloud service that connects to the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system at NSW DCS.
In this gateway, the workflows and business rules have been applied to NSW DCS’s needs, to enable invoice data to be received correctly.
The technology flags any errors with NSW DCS staff and its suppliers. It has also established connections to accounting software used by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), so suppliers can send e-invoices.
The NSW Digital Government Strategy offers digital services that benefit customers and suppliers. E-invoicing is a streamlined system that enables DCS to pay suppliers within the government-stipulated five-day turnaround period. It is also more affordable for DCS and suppliers, as processing an invoice costs less than $10.
The company was chosen as it met assessment criteria based on functionality and price and offered support and expertise.
It was also able to meet DCS strategic expectations to provide end-to-end automation to the procure-to-pay (P2P) cycle, to scale up throughout all areas of government.
The e-invoicing solution, DCS can pay invoices faster and help its suppliers maintain cashflow. The proprietary Access Point processes these e-invoices securely and accurately, reassuring DCS that its data and supplier information is secure.
It was noted that e-invoicing can make processing and sending invoices faster, more accurate and less expensive for organisations of all sizes, including government departments and private businesses.
The initial pilot was carried out in October 2019; phase one of the project started in January 2020 and went live in March, with phase two currently underway.
About the NSW Digital Government Strategy
The NSW Digital Government Strategy represents a vision for ICT reform and cultural change within the NSW Government.
The former ICT Strategy series provided a strong foundation which the government has built upon in consultation with industry partners and across government. The aim is to extend this to a partnership with the community.
The new Strategy is just an upgrade; it provides the backbone for the delivery of next-level, improved, user-centric services. It will ensure that the NSW Government is connected, customer-focussed and outcomes-driven.
Amongst other things, the NSW Public service will:
- use digital ways of conducting business where they were previously prohibited by outdated legislation
- co-design services with customers (taking into consideration expectations around the protection of privacy) and develop technology solutions in partnership with industry
- adopt a digital-by-default starting point when designing or reviewing new and existing policies • partner with industry focussing on technology solutions with a whole of government perspective
- experiment and be innovative in the use of new and game-changing technologies that have the potential to drive better service outcomes
- demonstrate how they are using data to inform decision making, including around investments
- optimise the sharing and use of data through the NSW Data Ecosystem, using real-time data and user-friendly formats for publishing
- use predictive analytics to drive better outcomes across the sector. The NSW Government is committed to exploring and implementing new and innovative ways of doing things, to achieve the best outcomes for the people of NSW.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications, database sharing between management agencies at both central and local levels is key to the process of developing e-government. MIC is compiling an e-government development strategy, which serves as a pillar in Vietnam’s socio-economic development model.
Under the draft strategy, which has been made public for comments, the development of e-government will be associated with the process of digital transformation, smart urban development, and ensuring network safety and security. Accordingly, all operations of state management will be digitalised to lead the national digitalisation process.
Citizens and enterprises will be the centre of the digitalisation process, which will aim at improving transparency, simplifying administrative procedures, and creating convenience when accessing public services. The most important thing was developing a database system and data sharing mechanism between state management agencies, according to the Ministry’s Authority of Information Technology Application.
The strategy aims to link the development of e-government with Vietnamese digital technology enterprises that have core technologies and open platforms to serve digital government services. Notably, enterprises could participate in providing public administrative services.
By 2025, 100% of national databases to serve e-government, including the database about population, land, business registration, finance, and insurance, are hoped to be completed, connected, and shared on a nationwide scale.
A representative from Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group said it was important to develop databases and data sharing to launch the digital government services. It was also necessary to carry out reviews on the process of transition from paper-based to digital and develop procedures for digital government services.
According to the United Nations’ recent report themed ‘Digital Government in the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development’, Vietnam ranked 86 out of 193 countries in the e-government development index, moving up two spots from 2018. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the list of members of the National Committee on e-government, which came into effect on 30 July. The PM chaired the committee.
The committee is in charge of studying and proposing policies, strategies and mechanisms to create a legal framework for the development of e-government towards a digital government, digital economy and digital society to create favourable conditions for implementing Industry 4.0 in the country.
The Vietnam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC) recently kicked off a course for the first 34 personnel chosen for a program on training 500 experts on internet protocol version 6 (IPv6). The advanced program, lasting from 2020 to 2025, targets technicians of IT units under ministries and public sectors and aims to support public agencies in completely switching from IPv4 to IPv6 in 2025.
According to research, internet connections using IPv6 are 1.4 times faster than IPv4. Vietnam’s internet has been upgraded to operate well on IPv6, in preparation for the country’ e-government development and national digital transition. As of June, it was ranked 10th globally in IPv6 adoption, with more than 36 million users.
To drive the development of the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Automotive Institutions, Robotics and Lot Malaysia (MARii) announced that they are collaborating on developing new generation vehicles (NxGV). Specifically, they will be looking into re-manufacturing and recycling and intelligent manufacturing technology (smart manufacturing) through a variety of research and development (R&D).
One of the projects carried out includes the development and commercialization of electric car (EV) batteries, supported by Research and Development efforts by both parties focusing on battery performance, battery replication, lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production development and more.
The Vice-Chancellor of UKM stated that the signing of the MoU showed closer cooperation between the two institutions in enhancing technological capabilities. It is hoped that the emergence of the digital economy in the Industrial 4.0 landscape will drive more sustainable innovation in various domain applications for the benefit of the government, organizations, and all citizens.
This innovation can be further utilized to change the way Malaysians live and work, creating an inclusive digital society with the same goal, which will not only generate wealth for better well-being but also bring peace and prosperity to the world, the academic stated while delivering a speech at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UKM and MARii, in Cyberjaya recently.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of MARii noted that the collaboration will complete the network of strategic expertise needed to implement projects related to research and development of basic materials for the manufacture of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, cybersecurity and digitization in the mobility sector.
These projects will add value to the development of NxGV, Maas and IR4.0, in line with NAP2020. This collaboration will also be able to show the development of a special network for Reverse Logistics, which includes the process of collection, recycling and end-of-life vehicle (ELV).
The Smart Data Initiative will also be implemented and focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the manufacturing process. The aim is to push forward Smart Manufacturing in Malaysia. With Industry 4.0 technology, the project will focus on cybersecurity methods that use various techniques to protect data and resources.
About Malaysia’s National Automotive Policy 2020
The National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) is expected to contribute RM104.2 billion to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years, an earlier article by OpenGov Asia noted. The forecasted contribution is in line with its projection of total production volume of 1.47 million vehicles and total industry volume of 1.22 million vehicles by 2030.
The overall intended outcomes of the NAP2020 are an increase in research of new technologies; the creation of business and job opportunities, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and the development of new manufacturing processes and value chains within the local automotive and overall automobile sector. The NAP2020 will further enhance the Malaysian automotive sector by transforming it into connected mobility.
The element of technology such as Next Generation Vehicle (NxGV), mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and Industrial Revolution 4.0 are in line with disruptive trends that have emerged in global markets, the Minister stated.
The NAP2020 is a holistic policy that covers the comprehensive development of industry capacities including supply chain, human capital, indigenous technology, aftermarket, exports, infrastructure readiness, standards and regulations. The NAP2020 will focus on the development of ecosystems for the NxGV, MaaS and Industry 4.0 technologies while continuing its focus on enhancing the development of Energy Efficient Vehicles.
The policy entails the National Roadmap Automotive for the mobility value chain, technology, mobility talent, aftermarket and National Blueprint Automotive for mobility as a service, robotics and IoT. It also envisions driving a policy that focuses on connected mobility, while enhancing Malaysia’s automotive industry in the era of digital industrial transformation.
The NAP2020’s vision includes integrating supply chains, local manufacturing, engineering capabilities, the latest technology trends, and sustainable development.
The Minister of Electronics, Information Technology, and Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced that the government is working to provide connectivity in the far-flung, remote, border areas of strategic importance, to ensure a better quality of life.
The country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the 2300km-long submarine optical fibre cable, between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar at a virtual event earlier this week.
In his speech, the Prime Minister said that the cable will help Andaman and Nicobar get cheaper and better connectivity and all the benefits of the Digital India initiative, especially in improving online education, telemedicine, banking systems, online trading, and to boost tourism.
The Indian Ocean has been the centre of India’s trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years and Andaman and Nicobar are an important centre for India’s economic-strategic cooperation.
The Islands of India play an important role in India’s new trade strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
Under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India’s strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is high and will increase; the Island Development Agency was formed three years ago to strengthen its role. The projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years are being completed now.
High-impact projects are expanding in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Apart from providing better internet and mobile connectivity, the government aims to further improve physical connectivity through road, air, and water.
The Prime Minister referred to the work on two major bridges and the NH-4 to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman. He said the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle a capacity of 1,200 passengers. Along with this, the airports are ready for operations in Diglipur, Car Nicobar, and Campbell-Bay.
According to a press release, Prasad spoke about the various projects being implemented by the Department of Telecommunications to provide connectivity in remote and difficult areas.
He said that a tender for 354 uncovered villages in the strategic, remote, and border areas of the country has been finalised and is under implementation in 144 villages of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.
Villages in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and other priority areas of Gujarat have been strategically selected to cover border area connectivity on mobiles.
After the commissioning of these villages, there will be no uncovered villages in J&K and Ladakh for mobile connectivity. Satellite-based Digital Satellite Phone Terminals (DSPTs) are also being provided at 1,347 sites for Army, BRO, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, and SSB use. 183 sites are already commissioned; the remaining are in process.
The Minister added that the Department of Telecommunications is also working on providing mobile connectivity in villages of 24 Aspirational districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
The remaining 44 Aspirational Districts for 7287 uncovered villages in Chhatisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh will also be covered, for which government approval is under submission.