Officials from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) were advised that they should make provisions for the final mile to give more people access to ICT services.in the proposed 2022 budget. Instead of replicating or redoing efforts in places where Internet access is already available.
Political figures are committed to ensuring that the DICT keeps its promise to offer adequate and efficient service to all 89 million Internet users in the country over the next three years, or by January 2025. Senator Ralph Recto believes the government should focus on underserved and unserved areas. Instead of competing with telecommunication firms, he believes DICT’s primary purpose should be to support them.
According to the DICT, the country’s Internet penetration rate is 60%, though other sources believe it to be closer to 44%. The country now has 25,213 macro cell towers and roughly 127,000 tiny towers, equivalent to around 3,500 customers using each macro cell tower at any given time. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) stated that the ideal number of Internet users per cell tower is 500, and that to attain this ratio, an additional 150,000 cell towers, in addition to the existing 25,213, are required to serve all 89 million Filipino Internet users.
Section 4 of the Bayanihan 2 law was crafted by Congress last year to simplify the processing of permits for the construction of cell towers in the country in response to the grievance of telcos. Drilon emphasised that DICT should make sure that they will follow through with their commitment and stick to their timetable.
“The immediate plan is to expand the number of micro towers since it is faster to compensate for the shortage of huge towers or macro towers. With the assistance of the telcos, we may be able to attain the [ideal] percentage in three years,” Senator Dela Rosa added.
OpenGov Asia reported, telecom regulators and operators experienced a rise in network traffic and took several measures accordingly to support customers. With this, the DICT has advanced its shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTI) Policy by activating the country’s first common telecom tower under the Philippines business conglomerate, which will be used by the Philippines’ leading telecommunications company and mobile operator to benefit from this DICT initiative, following the push for the growth and development of ITC’s (Independent Tower Companies).
“Through the Common Tower Policy, we hope to widen the base of common towers and, thus, speed up the deployment of the internet across the country by allowing and encouraging telcos and Internet service providers to share cell towers. The government and the private sector need to work closely together in upgrading ICT infrastructures, such as cell towers, not just to improve the quality of Internet connectivity, but also to address the increasing demand for data generated by the millions of online users in the new normal,” according to DICT Secretary during the inspection of the first activated shared telecom tower this week.
The business conglomerate’s CEO for ICT asserted that the tower activated by the telecommunication company was a Rapid Deployment Station (RDS) Telecom Tower in Valenzuela City offering a faster set-up structure that incorporates the tower body, fencing, and foundation all in one. These structures can be deployed and dismantled in a matter of days, eliminating the need for extensive excavation and foundation construction.
The Ministry of Health recently informed that it has issued more than 14 million electronic COVID-19 vaccine passports to the general public, a month after its official rollout on 15 April. The passport is available on the government’s mobile application, PC COVID-19, which is available on both iOS and Android stores or Digital Health (So suc khoe dien tu) apps. By providing a secure and easy-to-use digital mechanism to verify vaccination statuses, governments can accelerate the re-opening of the economy and build a secure and trusted foundation for further digital healthcare initiatives in the future.
The vaccine passports have 11 fields of information: name, date of birth, nationality, the targeted disease, doses of vaccines received, date of vaccination, lot number of the vaccine batch, type of vaccine, vaccine product received, the vaccine manufacturer, and a code for the certification. The digital passports display all vaccine data in both Vietnamese and English. Data has been encoded into a QR code, which expires after 12 months. Following their expiry, people will be notified, and a new QR code will be created.
According to a government statement, the health ministry has urged relevant authorities and subordinate units to complete updating information regarding 34 more million doses before 1 June to facilitate the issuance of COVID-19 vaccine passports. The ministry had also requested localities to implement vaccine information clarification procedures. Medical staff and police officers in the localities are in charge of the process. As regulated, immunisation facilities must check and verify information on vaccination data. Inaccurate information will be sent to local police officers and the corrected data will be sent back to the Department of Preventive Medicine for a digital signature. The data with a digital signature will be sent to the management system for the issuance of a vaccine passport.
The vaccine passports are issued free of charge to all citizens, according to officials. Citizens are not required to go through any additional procedures except to check that their data is correct and complete. In case the information is not correct or not available, they must send feedback on the vaccination portal system. The vaccine passports were rolled out on a trial basis in late March for those vaccinated against COVID-19 at Ha Noi’s three major hospitals. Vietnam has so far reached a mutual recognition of vaccine passports with 27 European Union countries and 54 nations and territories.
Earlier this month, ASEAN member countries announced their support for a digital technology convergence to develop a globally-accepted vaccine passport. The Indonesian Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said at a press conference that ASEAN will issue a joint statement on its countries’ adoption of health protocol standards. The proposed vaccine passport will adopt an overseas travel passport mechanism utilised by each country’s immigration authority for ascertaining a traveller’s identity. Sadikin also noted that ASEAN health ministers have approved the establishment of an ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) as a collaborative effort to deal with extraordinary events and future pandemics. The three pillars of ACPHEED are surveillance or detection, response, and risk management, which are supported by three ASEAN representative countries, namely Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) offers a Smart Living Solutions programme that intends to link the demands of digital technology applications in the government, municipal, and regional sectors with the private sector, which is willing to work on Smart City Services via public-private partnerships (PPP).
Along with increasing expertise, the goal is to create awareness and prepare cities and the business sector to develop initiatives for sustainable smart city services. DEPA promoted cooperative partnerships to build and extend a model for offering smart city services to local governments in the future. It also encourages collaboration in the creation of tangible smart city services.
The initiative, which was the first of its kind to create a matching channel between the city and the private sector for digital service providers, was carried out with the participation of over a hundred persons.
Meanwhile, to drive the development of smart cities the city must have a clear and ongoing roadmap. Nattapon Nimmanphatcharin, DEPA Chief Executive stated that smart cities need a clear, continuing strategy to enhance the quality of life and assure sustainability of the residents.
“The city must have a clear and ongoing roadmap and efficient management of city-data as well as the infrastructure investment must be planned to improve the quality of life of people. These would find available solutions to meet the needs of different areas of the city and are supervised by residents to ensure sustainability,” said Nimmanphatcharin during the recently held seminar titled Smart City Roadshow 2022 organized by Surat Thani Provincial Administrative Organization and partner agencies from both the public and private sectors.
Surat Thani Province joins the Smart Cities of Thailand, and a combination of the government, the corporate, the academic, and the people’s sectors will boost their digital demands.
In order for Surat Thani Province to reach its goal of being a vibrant smart city with a high quality of life, the province continuously organizes conferences and seminars for urban development with technology and innovation as well as exhibitions and talks to promote technology and smart city’s innovation knowledge.
Furthermore, DEPA recently took part in a seminar called Intensive Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Smart Cities. The cybersecurity professionals from Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute led the workshops and provided the training material for the event.
It is essential for those who are driving the development of smart cities to have an awareness of the primary cybersecurity components that comprise a smart city. Participants in this event will have access to suggestions that will help them develop strategies for the integration of all key industries.
Activities that are useful to the development of smart cities in Thailand are going to be organized and new activities are going to be created to secure a foundation for the development of intelligent cities while maintaining a focus on data privacy and protection.
Training courses may cover a broad range of subjects, from improving the understanding of what precisely a “Smart City” is to discover the most effective methods for governance and risk management across a spectrum of different sorts of smart cities.
The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with one of India’s largest telecom operators to help simplify the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and foster interoperability among devices and applications as per oneM2M (machine to machine) architecture.
IoT adoption has become critical in any organisation’s digital transformation journey. However, in the current deployments, certain operational challenges prevent businesses from taping into the technology’s true potential. Some issues include device network compatibility, over-the-air firmware upgrades, remote device configuration, security vulnerabilities, and implementation in siloes with proprietary protocols.
To address these challenges, C-DOT and the telecom operator have agreed to evaluate applications and devices from various solution providers against oneM2M specifications and offer joint certificates. A government official said that the partnership is an opportunity to “see the oneM2M specifications in action” in a diverse set of sectors and applications, from smart energy to connected cars. C-DOT’s indigenously-developed oneM2M-based Common Services Platform (CCSP) is expected to benefit the IoT industry. The collaboration presents opportunities for device and application providers to deploy their solutions in telecom operators’ networks. The platform will enable application providers to use a robust middleware framework with all necessary underlying common services to deploy a secure oneM2M-compliant solution.
C-DOT is a leading telecommunications research and development organisation that runs under the Ministry of Communications. It carries out advanced research activities in optical communication, wireless technologies, switching and routing, IoT/M2M, artificial intelligence, and advanced security solutions, among others.
Over the years, the automotive, energy, healthcare, smart cities, and logistics industries have ramped up IoT investments. A recent survey showed that the IoT market in India could touch US$ 9.28 billion by 2025, up from US$ 4.98 billion in 2020.
Government agencies are also working together to foster the IoT ecosystem in the country. For instance, earlier this month, C-DOT signed an MoU with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to collaborate in areas of telecommunications and information communication technologies (ICT), activities in 4G/5G services, broadband, IoT/M2M, packet core, and computing. As OpenGov Asia reported, the two sides also planned to sign Specific Project Agreements as and when required to enumerate the specific roles and responsibilities.
C-DOT is keen on aligning its indigenous R&D endeavours with C-DAC’s to meet the overarching objectives of national development, an official had stated. Both C-DOT and C-DAC are leaders in their respective areas and the MoU can foster strong cooperation and develop state-of-the-art technologies. The agreement will strengthen and secure national networks, boost seamless connectivity, and deploy advanced tech-based applications to make India self-reliant.
C-DAC is a premier institute for the design, development, and deployment of electronic and ICT technologies and applications for socio-economic advancement. It aims to expand the frontiers of ICT in the country, and evolve technology solutions, architectures, systems, and standards for India-specific problems. It rapidly and effectively spreads digital knowledge by overcoming language barriers through cutting-edge technologies, sharing IT experience and expertise, fostering digital inclusion, and utilising the intellectual property generated by converting it into business opportunities.
Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) discovered that a deep-learning technology tag, known as Neural-Fly, could assist flying robots known as “drones” in adapting to any weather conditions.
Drones are now flown under controlled conditions, without wind, or by people using software or remote controls. The flying robots have been trained to take off in formation in the open air, although these flights are typically undertaken under perfect conditions.
However, for drones to autonomously perform important but mundane duties, such as package delivery or airlifting injured drivers from traffic accidents, they must be able to adapt to real-time wind conditions.
With this, a team of Caltech engineers has created Neural-Fly, a deep-learning technology that enables drones to adapt to new and unexpected wind conditions in real-time by merely adjusting a few essential parameters. Neural-Fly is discussed in newly published research titled “Neural-Fly Enables Rapid Learning for Agile Flight in Strong Winds” in Science Robotics.
The issue is that the direct and specific effect of various wind conditions on aircraft dynamics, performance, and stability cannot be accurately characterised as a simple mathematical model.
– Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist
Chung added that they employ a combined approach of deep learning and adaptive control that enables the aircraft to learn from past experiences and adapt to new conditions on the fly, with stability and robustness guarantees, as opposed to attempting to qualify and quantify each effect of the turbulent and unpredictable wind conditions they frequently encounter when flying.
Neural-Fly was evaluated at Caltech’s Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) utilising its Real Weather Wind Tunnel, a 10-foot-by-10-foot array of more than 1,200 tiny computer-controlled fans that enables engineers to mimic everything from a mild breeze to a gale.
Numerous models derived from fluid mechanics are available to researchers but getting the appropriate model quality and tweaking that model for each vehicle, wind condition, and operating mode is difficult.
Existing machine learning methods, on the other hand, demand massive amounts of data for training, but cannot match the flying performance attained by classical physics-based methods. Adapting a complete deep neural network in real-time is a monumental, if not impossible, undertaking.
According to the researchers, Neural-Fly addresses these challenges by utilising a technique known as separation, which requires only a few parameters of the neural network to be altered in real-time. This is accomplished using their innovative meta-learning technique, which pre-trains the neural network so that only these critical parameters need to be changed in order to successfully capture the changing environment.
After only 12 minutes of flying data, autonomous quadrotor drones outfitted with Neural-Fly learn how to respond to severe winds so well that their performance improves dramatically as judged by their ability to precisely follow a flight route.
When compared to drones equipped with current state-of-the-art adaptive control algorithms that identify and respond to aerodynamic effects but lack deep neural networks, the error rate following that flight path is between 2.5 to 4 times lower.
Landing may appear more difficult than flight, however, Neural-Fly can learn in real-time, unlike previous systems. As a result, it can react on the fly to wind variations and does not require post-processing.
In-flight tests were done outside of the CAST facility; Neural-Fly functioned just as well as it did in the wind tunnel. Additionally, the researchers showed that flight data collected by one drone can be transferred to another, establishing a knowledge pool for autonomous cars.
The drones were outfitted with a typical, off-the-shelf flight control computer utilised by the drone research and enthusiast communities. Neural-Fly was built into an onboard Raspberry Pi 4 computer, which is the size of a credit card and costs roughly $20.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and a Finnish industrial machinery company have signed a global exclusive cooperation agreement on the delivery of SwirlFlow® agitation technology for the Bauxite and Alumina sector outside of China.
The combination of the companies’ leading expertise in their respective fields will allow the parties to create the strongest offering to the market for the use of this technology in the refinery precipitation tanks.
The Director of Light Metals at the industrial machinery company stated that sustainability is a top priority for the firm. In addition to their own investments to develop technology for sustainable alumina processing, they announced their cooperation with CSIRO. This partnership will allow the firm to meet its customers’ growing demands such as lower capital installation, reduced spare parts costs and an increase in precipitation tank availability.
CSIRO’s leading technology in SwirlFlow® agitation has been pioneered at a tier-one refinery precipitation tanks, leading to significantly reduced maintenance costs and improved operational time between descaling events stated that the Research Program Director for Processing at CSIRO.
In the minerals processing industry, large mixing tanks are utilised to provide a variety of continuous hydrometallurgical processes including leaching (digestion), precipitation, adsorption, oxidation, tailings washing and neutralisation. Usually, single or multiple impellers with vertical baffles inside these tanks are utilised for mixing and to create suspensions of solid materials.
Traditional long-shaft agitators are expensive and difficult to clean during maintenance shutdowns. They may also bog in solids that settle on the bottom of the tank. These issues result in losses of production as well as high maintenance costs.
The technology has significantly lower capital and operating costs compared to traditional agitation systems, cutting installation costs by up to a third. It incorporates a short shaft and a novel impeller design to create a tornado-like vortex flow. As it integrates a short shaft, the technology does not bog in settled solids and is easier to clean. This reduces downtime and maintenance costs. Furthermore, it can achieve the same mixing performance as traditional agitators with lower power consumption, further reducing operating costs.
The technology has been deployed at the Queensland Alumina refinery in Australia and is being evaluated for other alumina refineries in Australia and overseas. In addition, it is also being tested for leaching applications in iron ore, gold, and uranium plants.
The technology has been designed for slurry tanks:
- as a short-shaft system to reduce the mechanical failure risks common in conventional agitator systems
- as a low-weight, lower-cost replacement or new agitator system for gold carbon-in-pulp (CIP) leach and process tanks.
- where downstream pumps are starved of feed due to sedimentation blockage of the pump inlet pipe
- to address the build-up of inventory, scale or sediment that reduces tank online time, or results in a premature stoppage of the tanks.
The capital cost of the technology is around 50% less than traditional technologies and, similarly, the maintenance costs are also much lower, in part due to the lower wear rates than for the impellers used in traditional systems.
Conversion to the technology is both a major capital cost saving and provides long-term operating advantages including a significantly lower tank scaling rate. This means that the tank can stay operational for much longer, increasing production and reducing costs.
The Material Engineering Student Association (MTM) of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in Indonesia has built a 1 kWh-capable electric turbine. This activity was a part of the institute’s Bright Wind Programme, a community service whose primary focus is on advancing the local community.
In their latest project, Bright Wind MTM Team has done a preliminary site inspection to gather some information on the site’s location, soil qualities, wind conditions, and the quantity of power (kWh) required by the site. After performing a survey and collecting data, the Kanaan Elementary School was selected as the receiver of a 1 kWh system.
“First, when electricity is successfully supplied through this PLTB, the children in Indragiri [District] Village are happy and excited because they can do gymnastics using songs electronically,” said Dede Iskandar Usman, Kanaan Elementary School Principal.
Usman continued by saying that the Bright Wind Project will undoubtedly bring about alterations and modifications for the Indragiri residents’ chances of survival. The Bright Wind MTM Team then proceeded to carry out the design of the wind power plant (Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Bayu/PLTB) after having first determined the amount of electricity that would be produced and its precise location. PLTB is a type of power plant known as a wind power plant that generates electricity by harnessing the power of the wind.
The design is geared toward making the PLTB meet its requirements, which include things like height, the shape of the turbine blades, the structure, the material, and other requirements.
The process of manufacturing is helped along in this company by its partners. Beginning with the provision of workshops and continuing through the assistance provided in the production of draft drawings from existing blueprints and the supervision of student work via the provision of instructions regarding the production of the PLTB itself.
In the same workshop where the PLTB was first broken down into its component parts, the Bright Wind Team later put everything back together. After the assembly was finished, it was evaluated to determine whether it met the requirements. At that point, the Bright Wind Team removed the PLTB, which was then transported to Kanaan to be re-installed. This is essential when one considers the treacherous nature of the landscape that must be traversed to get to the destination.
During the process of this installation, the Bright Wind team was able to save time because there was basically already a mains cable that had already been installed. This is because in the previous years there were electric turbine installations, but the electricity that they produced was of lower quality.
To supply electricity to the entirety of the Kanaan Elementary School building, the Bright Wind team only needed to connect the control panel to the main cable, which was made possible by the main cable itself.
The Bright Wind project is also very helpful in making the activities of teaching and learning at Kanaan Elementary School run more smoothly because it has been made possible by the availability of electricity.
ITB was Indonesia’s first technical high school, and it was the first school in the country to provide socialization classes for elementary children as well as entrance exams for state universities for high school students. After being without electricity for 39 years, the village was finally able to get power thanks to a combined effort from many research projects and business partners.
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has revamped its Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme (EMPS) and SG IP FAST Programme as the country reopens its economy and improves its position as a worldwide innovation and IP hub. This action helps more enterprises protect their IPs in a post-Covid recovery situation. The Revised Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme (REMPS) would provide firms with additional funding for disputes involving both Singapore and foreign intellectual property rights.
The REMPS encourages parties in IPOS proceedings to choose mediation by funding the process so that more can experience mediation as an attractive option to resolve their disputes amicably.
– Mark Lim stated as the Chief Legal Counsel/Director, Hearings and Mediation of IPOS
This is also part of SIPS 2030, in which they hope to expand international IP dispute resolution in Singapore by encouraging more corporations and individual IP owners to use the comprehensive array of IP dispute resolution services they provide.
Over the previous three years, the number of cases sent to IPOS has more than doubled. Enterprises are viewing mediation as an appealing conflict resolution alternative for intellectual property issues, citing speed and cost-effectiveness as major factors.
The enhanced financing available in REMPS for disputes involving Singapore and foreign IP rights will provide more assistance to businesses, particularly when cross-jurisdictional conflicts are involved. The REMPS provides firms with a 17% boost in funding or up to SG$ 14,000 for disputes involving Singapore and overseas IP rights.
Parties will get up to SG$ 10,000 for disputes involving exclusively Singapore IP rights while they can recover up to 80% of a mediation-related lawyer/agent fees and disbursements from the financing. If just one party decides to apply for financing, the only applicant for REMPS may claim up to S$3,000 for every mediation case.
Apart from REMPS, businesses can also look forward to more support when resolving IP disputes in Singapore through SG IP FAST Programme. Sharmine Wu, Director of Patents, Design and Plant Varieties, IOS said that as the economy improves, they anticipate that more businesses will be able to bring their ideas to market faster and harness intellectual property for growth.
We launched SG IP FAST in 2020 to expedite IP protection for businesses and help them use IP to thrive despite the pandemic. This update is part of the Singapore IP Strategy [SIPS 2030] to enhance Singapore’s position as a global IA/IP hub.
– Sharmaine Wu, Director of Patents, Designs and Plant Varieties, IPOS
IP filings with IPOS have climbed by 33% in the last five years, indicating a consistent increase in innovation. IPOS received over 14,600 patent applications in 2021. With the increased volume of IP filings, IPOS has reduced its acceleration programmes to provide a competitive advantage to more businesses as global economies reopen.
The SG IP FAST programme will be extended until April 2024, with a doubled annual ceiling of 120 patent applications, while the 12 Months File-to-Grant programme will be discontinued, allowing more businesses to acquire their patent in as little as 6 months or 9 months with SG IP FAST. The period for requesting acceleration for related trademark or registered design applications under SG IP FAST has also been increased from one to twelve months, giving applicants more time to develop their IP portfolio and growth strategy.
IPOS is always creating new solutions to better serve the quickly changing demands of its communities through technology across all its companies. It is critical that the government implement and protect these inventions as rapidly and effectively as possible using SG IP FAST and REMPS.