Singapore - Country Commercial Guide
Information and Telecommunications Technology
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Singapore embraces innovation to support positive social and economic impact.  The country consistently ranks as a top network-ready country due to its continued investments in ICT infrastructure, training programs, R&D support, legislation, a highly skilled talent pool, few cultural and language barriers, and an ecosystem that promotes innovation. 

National programs include Smart Nation Initiative (2014) to enable the adoption of digital and smart technologies; Eight Key Strategic National Projects, the foundation for turning Singapore into a Smart Nation; InfoComm Media 2025(2015) to build on the power of data and data insights, advanced communications, and computational technologies; National A.I. Strategy (2019); 5G Innovation Program (2019); Digital Connectivity Blueprint (2023) to seize opportunities from emerging tech trends in areas such as generative artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. 

Singapore’s ICT international rankings include:

  • 2nd in Digital Competitiveness in Asia, beating South Korea, Japan, and China.

(“World Digital Competitiveness Rankings”, IMD Business School, 2021)

  • 2nd for Ease of doing business in Asia, the only Southeast Asian nation in the top 10 for Asia, and 18th globally.
    (“Doing Business 2020”, World Bank Group 2020)
  • 1st for I.P. protection in Asia and 2nd globally.

(“Global Innovation Index 2021: Which Are the Most Innovative Countries?”, World Intellectual Property Organization 2021 and “Invest in Singapore: Create What’s Next”, EDB, 2021)

  • More than 5 in 10 workers in high-skilled employment.

(“Global Human Capital Report 2017”, World Economic Forum, 2017)

  • A digital population larger than the U.S., U.K., and Canada combined: There were 310 million digital consumers in Southeast Asia in 2020.  Growth will accelerate with an additional 30 million digital consumers between 2020 and 2025.

(“Digital Consumers of Tomorrow, Here Today”, Bain & Company.2020)

  • Top global submarine cable hub, with 24 submarine internet cables linking to a multitude of key locations worldwide.

(“Global Innovation Index”, World Intellectual Property Organization 2021 and “The Future of Data Centers in the Face of Climate Change”, Eco-Business, 2020)

  • On-demand services, such as ride-hailing and food delivery, are expected to experience significant growth moving forward.  The ASEAN taxi market, including notable players Grab and GoTo, is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.7% from 2020 to 2025.

(“e-Conomy SEA 2019 Think with Google”, Google)

  • In 2018, Changi Airport served >100 airlines flying to 400 cities in 100 countries and was named Asia’s most connected international airport.

(“Changi is Asia’s Most Connected Airport.”, The Straits Times, 2018)

  • Middle-affluent population to rise from 40 percent to 64 percent in 2030.

(“How the Digital Revolution is integrating Southeast Asia’s consumers 2018”, Boston Consulting Group)

Singapore has become the primary choice for regional headquarters among technology firms.  It is home to 80 out of the top 100 software and service companies, including Google, IBM, Meta, Amazon Web Services, and others, who offer digital platforms and services that are key to the digital transformation of companies locally.

The digital economy, comprising the information and technology (ICT) sector and digitalization in other industries, grew to account for 17 percent of Singapore’s gross domestic product in 2022, according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).  IMDA reported that the ICT sector grew 8.6 percent in 2022, compared with 3.6 percent for the overall economy.

Across Southeast Asia, the digital economy is projected to grow five times to S$1 trillion by 2030, driven by new internet users and a rising middle class.  Challenges are ahead, such as different rules on how data flows across nations, concerns about job security, ethics of A.I. usage, the need to build trust, etc.

According to Forrester, technology spending in Singapore will surge by 4.6% in 2023 to reach US$16.7 billion (S$22.2 billion).  The International Data Corporation (IDC) envisages Singapore’s spending on A.I. to cross US$3.5 billion (S$4.6 billion) by 2026, almost three times the US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) spent in 2022. 

Generative A.I. brings sweeping changes across industries, with companies having to spend for their survival on R&D talent and implementation, cloud computing, cybersecurity in security solutions, trust audits, certifications and accreditations, and employee training. 

Mainstream adoption of A.I. may speed up the refresh cycle for personal computers and smartphones as devices currently in use are not well suited for heavy processing, memory, and storage requirement for A.I.’s large language models. 

Expectations are that significant spending growth will come from the private sector.  The government’s efforts in bulk tender and modernizing back-end infrastructure through the cloud have resulted in cost-savings, and it is now giving way to optimization and maintenance with significant savings and a US$2.5 billion (S$3.3 billion) budget.

In the recently announced Digital Connectivity Blueprint, the government plans to put Singapore in a better position to seize opportunities from emerging tech trends.  As part of the blueprint, the government will develop three digital infrastructure “stacks” hard infrastructure, physical-digital infrastructure, and soft infrastructure. 

The government will improve submarine, satellite, broadband, mobile, and Wi-Fi infrastructure.  They will allocate spectrum for faster Wi-Fi and 5G standalone networks to enable a smooth “handover” between different modes of connectivity and facilitate innovative use cases.  The aim is to achieve full 5G standalone coverage at Singapore’s offshore coast by mid-2025. 

Singapore has three domestic banking groups, with several providers expanding rapidly into other markets in Southeast Asia.  It is a regional center for cross-border insurance and fund management, and it is a highly developed market for securities and currency and provides services for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS, the defacto central bank) has encouraged fintech innovations by establishing regulatory “sandboxes,” which relax specific regulatory requirements to allow innovators to experiment with new financial products.  Supportive measures (for example, in taxation), shared-ownership structures, and a strong tech talent base have positioned the country as a regional fintech hub.

The U.S. and Singapore have a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on telecom equipment certification.  The MRA allows equipment testing in the exporting economy without needing further testing, inspection, or certification by the importing country. U.S. companies may refer to the list of the recognized testing labs and list of recognized certification agencies in the U.S.


Table:   Information and Communications Technology Market Size, million USD
 2020202120222023 estimated
Total Local Production7,3389,2916,8125,609
Total Exports27,48132,30121,86220,439
Total Imports27,04527,78620,29218,664
Imports from the US1,3731,3261,4431,222
Total Market Size6,9024,8765,2443,834
Exchange Rates1.391.351.381.33

Units: $ millions
Source: IHS Markit

Leading Sub-Sectors

Best prospects include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, 5G, 6G, and data centers/cloud computing.



In 2022, ransomware and phishing remained persistent threats, with more than one ransomware case reported every three days. Phishing attempts more than doubled. In contrast, there was a decrease in web defacements and infected infrastructure. Small-and-Medium enterprises (SMEs) from manufacturing and retail were the primary victims of ransomware and website defacements. Many such firms needed more dedicated resources to counter cyber threats.

Anticipated cybersecurity trends include Ransom for Reputation, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) for bad and good, and systemic risks from economic adversity. Cloud usage has attracted novel cyber-attacks.

The Singapore government has invested in numerous initiatives to enhance the country’s cyber defenses, including evolving legislation, cyber safe programs, inter-agency counter ransomware task force, increased cross-domain collaboration and crisis management planning, etc. The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore has indicated that the government will continue to step up efforts to protect cyberspace to fully reap the benefits of their digital future. Still, they need businesses and individuals to play their part, too.

In the next ten years, the Singapore government will advance its vision of a quantum-safe nation through the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+). They will deploy Quantum-safe technologies to strengthen Singapore’s digital infrastructure and build resistance against quantum attacks. Two network operators will initiate this program so businesses can easily access solutions to safeguard their critical data. 

As rotating chair of the ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN) in 2024, Singapore will prioritize work on cybersecurity to strengthen ASEAN’s overall cybersecurity posture and resilience in dealing with the fast-evolving cyber landscape.  

Artificial intelligence (A.I.)

The Singapore government is committed to deploying A.I. to support positive social and economic impact and cement Singapore’s status as a global artificial intelligence hub. In addition to creating Model A.I. Governance Framework (2019 & 2020) to help companies deploy A.I. responsibly, they made A.I. Verify (2022), an A.I. governance testing framework and toolkit which provides a benchmark by which companies can verify their A.I. systems’ performance with internationally recognized ethical principles and A.I. Verify Foundation (2023) working with industry players to develop better frameworks, standards, and best practices.

Seven national A.I. projects cover transport and logistics, smart cities and estates, healthcare, education, border and security, finance, and government.  A.I. has been used to process citizens’ feedback on neighborhood repairs, detect anomalies in shipment scams on websites, remove spoof sites used for fraudulent purposes, and prescribe optimal drug doses based on patient condition data.  

Fintech vendors increasingly incorporate various A.I. solutions into their offerings, mainly for customer care, security, compliance, fraud detection, credit rating, and loan approval.

US$375.9 million (S$500 million) was set aside for five years to back the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (2019), plus an additional US$135.3 million (S$180 million) in 2021.

Singapore is working with other ASEAN nations to produce a set of guidelines on the responsible use of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the region. The guidelines will be available in early 2024. The guide will be a “practical and implementable step” towards supporting the safe deployment of “responsible and innovative A.I.” in the region.  

Besides the upcoming guide, ASEAN is working on steps to ensure that the use of digital technology in the region is safe, secure, and as effective as possible.


Singapore has always embraced reinvention to stay competitive. With new technologies, including 5G, Singapore’s approach was to “invest ahead and invest early” in infrastructure. 5G services are offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNO) Singtel, M1, Starhub, and Simba and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) My Republic, Zero1, GOMO, Giga, and Circles. 

In July 2022, Singtel’s 5G standalone network covered over 95% of Singapore, more than 1,300 outdoor locations, and over 400 buildings and underground. Singtel is actively seeking partnership and collaboration opportunities with system integrators, app developers, IoT solution providers, and other ecosystem partners to develop new 5G solutions and use cases targeted at its enterprise customers.   

The Singapore government earmarked US$18.8 billion (S$25 billion) in R&D funding until 2025 to drive transformative technologies supporting efforts to maximize the benefits of digitalization. The forecast is that 55% of Singapore will have adopted 5G by 2025.

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), part of the Ministry of Communications and Information, set aside US$22.6 million (SGD30 million) to drive 5G adoption and commercialization. Businesses can access testbeds to develop, adopt and commercialize 5G solutions in Smart Estates, Outdoor Augmented Reality, Industry 4.0, Urban Mobility, Maritime operations, Healthcare, Consumer and Government application, etc. IMDA’s 5G grant is focused on the commercialization & deployment of 5G solutions in Robotics & IoT, A.I. & Data, and AR/VR.  


Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) recently announced that they would allocate the lower segment of the 6GHz band (5,925MHz-6,425MHz) for 6GHz Wi-Fi use to support the deployment of the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard by the third quarter of 2023. Wi-Fi 6E equipment and devices will be commercially available at the same time. 

Singapore’s new 6G lab will research 6G with A.I., holographic communications, and intelligent sensing capabilities to support the next generation of self-driving cars, drones, etc. 6G services are expected to be available by 2030.

As recently announced in the Digital Connectivity Blueprint, improvements will be made to traditional connectivity via submarine, satellite, broadband, mobile, and Wi-Fi networks. Singapore will double the number of submarine cable landings. Already Asia’s subsea capacity hub, Singapore currently hosts approximately 30 international submarine cables that provide an aggregate 44.8Tbit/s capacity. Over the next ten years, the government will invest US$7.5 billion (S$10 billion) in subsea cables.

The government will look to build seamless “end-to-end” 10 Gbps domestic connectivity within the next five years. Currently, 98% of all homes have broadband access, with most able to access 1 Gbps speeds. The call for collaboration with the industry to commence the upgrade will start in mid-2024.

The government also hopes to enable more significant interaction between the different digital infrastructure components and their physical counterparts, e.g., the open digital platform at Punggol “Digital District” will connect other district systems and allow sharing of data and control functions through an interoperable layer using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize utility and workforce to achieve sustainability targets and smart business operations like robotics. 

With soft infrastructure, the government will look to scale up the Singapore Digital Utility (D.U.) stack as they expand the benefits of seamless digital transactions. Enrichments can include verification of digital identities, e-payments, e-invoicing, document attestations, and data exchanges or even fresh D.U.s that can enrich the existing stack. The government aims to start the upgrades in mid-2024. 

Data Centers

According to the 2023 Global Data Center Market Comparison report, Singapore is ranked third globally for its data centers. The high ranking comes from a robust ecosystem, excellent connectivity, consistent demand, and availability of all primary cloud services that continue to expand where possible. The government imposed a moratorium on new data centers from 2019 to the start of 2023. They set higher green standards when they lifted the suspension. 

More than 70 operational data centers are here with more than 1,000 MW capacity. U.S. companies in this sector are Digital Realty, Equinix, Savvis, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, AWS, Verizon, etc. Demand for data centers in Singapore will remain high with the rapid growth and advancements of generative A.I., digital apps, e-commerce, IoT, artificial intelligence/machine learning, blockchain activities, online gaming, etc.

A.I. workloads run at much higher power densities, and liquid cooling for the cabinet or chip is required. Recently, a standard was launched for optimizing the energy efficiency of data centers in tropical climates, including operating at higher temperatures to reduce the energy used in cooling.

80 MW was allocated recently to four data center operator winners through the pilot Data Centre-Call for Application (DC-CFA). These operators were Equinix, Microsoft, GDS, and AirTrunk – ByteDance (consortium). Awarding rights were based on delivering best-in-class energy-efficient core I.T. equipment, anchoring key AI/ML and high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities, significant expansion of international connectivity, including setting up new carrier-neutral exchanges, and promise of economic commitments to Singapore beyond direct data center investments. 

The government will develop a roadmap for Green Data Centers with lower carbon emissions in support of Singapore’s net-zero targets, and they will allocate more capacity in the next 12 to 18 months. Singapore expects around US$7.5 billion (S$10 billion) to US$9 billion(S$12 billion) in new data center investment over the next ten years. Keppel Corp, a state-backed conglomerate, is developing new data centers with higher energy efficiency and planning to export them to other major data center hubs shortly.


Trade Shows

Milipol Asia-Pacific / TechxSummit 2024

3-5 April 2024

Blackhat Asia

April 13-16 2024

Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) / (Previously known as CommunicAsia/BroadcastAsia/SatelliteAsia)

May 29-31, 2024

Gamescom Asia

October 2024

Cloud Expo Asia/Data Centre World  

October 2024

GovWare Conference & Exhibition / Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW)

October 2024

Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH)

October 2024

Singapore Fintech Festival

5-8 November 2024

Singapore Government Offices

AI Singapore

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Centre for Liveable Cities

Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA)

Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)

Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS)

Government Technology Agency (GovTech)

Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX)

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

Synapxe (previously Integrated Health Information System)

Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

National Research Foundation (NRF)

Smart Nation Singapore

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)


U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact

Ms. Amelia Yeo, Commercial Specialist