Singapore, a small-sized island city-state, expects to be first country in the world blanketed with a fiber-optic infrastructure. As a result, Internet connections there would be so fast that they would enable the contents of a DVD to be downloaded in only a few seconds.
The new network, stimulated by an investment of about $700 million from the government, will help the country leap ahead in an international race to roll out faster broadband speeds, a competition in which several Asian countries are in leading positions.
Japan and Hong Kong have been leading the way, with private companies already offering speeds as high as 1Gb/s, or 1000Mb/s — many times as fast as the 35Mb/s required for streaming high-definition video. But these networks do not cover every home.
South Korea, one of the world’s most wired places, has also announced plans to complete a new broadband network offering 1Gb/s in all major cities by 2013.
For the development of its network, Singapore is relying on a mixture of public subsidies and private-sector participation and separating three main functions: the building of the infrastructure, the operation of the network and the provision of retail services.
Pyramid Research, which analyzes the telecommunications business, predicts the revenue of Singapore telecommunication operators will increase to $5.1 billion by 2014, from $3.8 billion in 2009.