Garmin users in Singapore can now pay for bus and train rides using Garmin Pay, a contactless payment solution designed for people who are always on the move.
As part of a partnership with OCBC Bank, Garmin users can link their OCBC MasterCard® or Visa® credit or debit cards to their Garmin Pay Wallet in their compatible smartwatches and tap the fare gantries or card readers to pay for their transport or make purchases with a turn of their wrist.
Part of Land Transport Authority’s SimplyGo initiatives, commuters can use their contactless bank cards such as VISA an MasterCard or NFC-enabled smartphones to pay for their bus and train rides removing the need to carry additional cards.
The move to expand contactless payment footprints has been encouraging. Since April 2019, more than 250,000 commuters have signed up for a TransitLink SimplyGo account with a registered bank card. The SimplyGo account allows commuters to view their trip history and receive notifications of their fares on the go.
The contactless payment isn’t just limited to mobile phones. In May 2019, wearable company Fitbit announced that Fitbit Pay can be used to pay on public transport.
It is encouraging to see more technology companies are jumping into payment solutions. I think the era of cashless society is coming quicker than I thought.
Today, Acronis, a cloud-based data backup and recovery service provider, announces the acquisition of 5nine, a global provider of Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure cloud management and security solutions. As part of the agreement, 5nine will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acronis.
5nine offers end-to-end cloud solutions for Hyper-V and the first and only agentless, multilayered security solution for Hyper-V and Azure. Its innovative, powerful, and easy-to-use software is designed to reduce costs, increase productivity, and mitigate security risks.
Acronis will integrate 5nine’s technology into the Acronis Cyber Platform, making new services available through the Acronis Cyber Cloud Solutions portal. 5nine’s solutions will enable managed service providers (MSPs) and IT organizations to simplify cloud service orchestration, create new business, and manage their customers’ needs.
Together with 5nine, Acronis will offer customers and partners an easier way to migrate workloads from their physical or virtual infrastructure to Acronis Cyber Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure or both. 5nine’s ability to unify cloud migration, management, monitoring, and innovative workload management tools and processes enables customers to cover the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection – ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) of all data, applications, and systems.
“By combining with Acronis, we will be able to accelerate product innovation, expand our distribution channel, and leverage our existing technology to meet customer requirements,” said Karen Armor, Chief Executive Officer at 5nine. “With the knowledge gained from almost a decade of experience managing and protecting Microsoft virtual machines on behalf of our customers, we are certain that this acquisition will drive cloud adoption and ensure secure and reliable cloud infrastructure deployments worldwide.”
Acronis sees the value in offering 5nine’s services to its community of 50,000 partners in the IT channel, enabling MSPs and cloud service providers to better manage their hybrid infrastructure workloads. Acronis’ ability to meet infrastructure deployment requirements by location, budget, and use case provides them with the ultimate in control and flexibility to deliver cyber protection with Acronis Cyber Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure, and more
“By adding 5nine’s solutions to our portfolio of cyber protection products and services, we’re giving our partners and customers an easy way to adopt the Microsoft hybrid cloud platform. With a combined solution, organizations will be able to migrate all or select workloads to the cloud and then manage both on-premises and cloud virtual machines with a single interface. We envision combining the functionality of the two solutions by extending Acronis’ easy-to-use, single pane of glass, resulting in IT administrators monitoring, managing and ensuring cyber protection for all workloads, regardless of their location,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, Acronis Founder and CEO.
Trans-Cab Services, Singapore’s second-largest taxi company and Gojek Singapore announced partnership to allow more than 3000 Trans-Cab drivers to gain access to bookings made via the Gojek platform, and will be able to fulfill private-hire trips on a flat-fare basis from December 2019.
Within a short 1 year span, Gojek claimed to have clocked 30 million completed trips in Singapore. Singapore is now Gojek’s second-largest transport market after Indonesia in terms of transaction value, a testament to customer trust and value in Gojek’s offering.
Trans-Cab chief executive officer Teo Kiang Ang said: “This collaboration with Gojek is fantastic. It will enable our drivers to access on-demand bookings via the Gojek app, while they continue to be able to take on street-hail jobs. Our drivers will greatly benefit from this flexibility and increased earning opportunity.
It is inevitable for Trans-Cab to venture into private hires ever since private hire like Uber and Grab entered Singapore. In less than 10 years, the number of taxis in Singapore has dropped drastically from 28,000 to under 20,000. To overcome the technological barrier, it may be better for taxi operator like Trans-Cab to partner, instead of going head-on, with car hailing service providers like Gojek and Ryde.
Currently, Trans-cab has a fleet of close to 3,000 taxi which is very far behind market leader ComfortDelGro Corp.’s 11,000 vehicles under its Comfort and CityCab brands, data from the Land Transport Authority showed.
Razer announced in March that they are collaborating with Lucas Film in bringing Stormtrooper- themed collection of Razer products to the gamers. They have already launched the Blackwidowed Silent Mechancial Keyboard and Atheris Wireless Mouse.
To compliment these two, Razer is launching the Stormtrooper Edition Kraken Headset. Retaining the same market- leading features as the original Razer Kraken headset is now sporting the colors of the most feared army in the Star Wars Galaxy.
Designed for esports athletes and gamers alike, the StormtrooperTM Edition of the Razer Kraken headset features custom-tuned 50mm drivers for a wide soundscape from subtle audio cues to helmet rumbling explosions. The uni-directional, retractable microphone ensures your shot calls and battle orders are always delivered in absolute clarity. Using a thickly padded bauxite aluminum frame and cooling-gel ear cushions, the StormtrooperTM Edition of the Kraken headset is built for comfort over long mission sessions. With an inline remote for volume and microphone controls and connection via 3.5mm jack, the StormtrooperTM Edition of the Razer Kraken headset is compatible with PC, Mac, console and mobile devices.
The StormtrooperTM Edition of the Razer Kraken headset is available now at Razer.com and is selling at the recommended retail price of USD 109.99
ViewQwest, Singapore-based Internet Service Provider (ISP), launched Vesta, its smart living platform which will provide users with hassle-free and highly personalised smart living services. Unlike traditional smart living products, Vesta is a subscription-based service which comes with full-service installation, maintenance and customer support.
To kickstart, ViewQwest launches its home security service on Vesta – Vesta Shield, a smart monitoring service which provides round-the-clock monitoring. Beyond that, Viesta Shield alerts users of intrusions. Various sensors can be set up around the home or office to detect opening of doors and unexpected movements. The data collected is wirelessly transmitted to a central Vesta hub which processes the data and sends meaningful notifications to the user via the Vesta app.
When there are any unexpected events in the home or
office while the system is armed, Vesta Shield will automatically send an alert
to the user via the app, SMS, or automated call through its intelligent
notification engine. Email confirmation may also be provided for every
monitored and triggered activity. There is also an option to set the built-in
siren within the Vesta Hub to go off and emit a loud, high-pitched noise
designed to alert people at home as well as to scare away the intruders.
If the alert notification is not acknowledged within 60 seconds, the armed siren will sound. The system will then automatically call contacts registered in Vesta Shield’s escalation list if the siren is not turned off within 2 minutes. Vesta’s escalation list provides the primary, secondary and tertiary contacts for effective escalation. For example, if the primary contact does not respond and no action has been taken, another call is made to the secondary contact and if the latter also does not respond, then the tertiary contact is contacted.
Future updates to Vesta will also enable the
integration of different smart accessories and hardware, allowing users to
operate all smart devices through the single Vesta hub.
Singapore’s smart device penetration at home is
predicted to grow from 20.6% in 2019 to 36.1% in 20232, as more
Singaporean homes are keen in smart living solutions.
Vignesa Moorthy, CEO of ViewQwest said, “More
Singaporean homes are keen in smart living solutions, but some are deterred by
the inconvenience of setting up devices all on their own. We want to take the
tough out of the equation with our subscription-based service model.”
Vesta Shield starts from $25 per month and will be available to all new and existing ViewQwest customers.
To complement smart living solutions, ViewQwest is also partnering security specialist Trend Micro to offer the Home Network Security as a subscription-based service starting November 2019. The Home Network Security creates a new and extensive layer of cyber security protection for the home network, protecting Vesta IOT devices as well as the computers, mobile phones and other devices connected to the network.
Availability and Pricing
From November 2019 to February 2020, ViewQwest will
be offering a free trial of the Vesta Shield to existing ViewQwest customers –
residential and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Vesta Shield will be available in Q1 2020 in three
bundle: S$25/month with $80 activation fee
StarHub is the sole telco to launch Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL for Singapore customers.
Starting Saturday, 26
October 2019, customers will be able to buy Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL at $0
upfront cost with StarHub’s #HelloChange mobile
plans. They will be able to pay for their new phone over 24 months through
their StarHub monthly bills.
Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4
XL will be available for purchase through StarHub Online Store at www.starhub.com/pixel-4
or at StarHub Shops. Online Exclusive: Customers who buy through StarHub Online
Store will get an exclusive mobile plan benefit – free surfing every weekend on
StarHub’s superfast mobile network at no additional charge. These customers
will also enjoy free home delivery.
Customers on StarHub’s #HelloChange mobile plans enjoy the best value and
simplicity. On top of having extra-large data bundles, customers get free
caller ID forever and complete freedom from hidden activation, registration and
SIM card fees as imposed by competitor brands.
We all know that Huawei’s latest Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro will not come with Google Mobile Services and that mean customers outside China who bought their latest flagship phones will not be able to use Youtube or Google Maps.
In the early October, Huawei Singapore has finally released the price plan for the Singapore customers. The new Mate 30 Pro is selling at SGD 1,298. Customers can now register their interest for the Mate 30 Pro which comes in either Black or Silver color.
As part of its early bird special, interested buyers who bought the phone will be invited to an exclusive private event and on top of that, they will receive a set of free gift worth SGD 463.
We have heard good reviews about the Mate 30’s camera. No doubt, the Mate 30 is a high-quality phone. However, we don’t just use our smartphone for photography only. We use that for other purposes which is why we need Google Play to download other essentials apps to suit our needs.
Now, Google Play has been taken away and Huawei customers have to get accustomed to their in-house Huawei Mobile Services. To the Android users, this is a switching cost and that’s bring back to one question, “Is the Huawei Mate 30 Pro worthy enough for that switch?”
Personally, I am adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to see how Singapore market reacts to this. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have some unique insights on this matter. I will love to hear from you.
For those who are interested in the phone, here are the key things to know to get your hands on the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro:
STEP 1: Register your interest online here from 5 -15 October, 2019 STEP 2: You may receive a call or email between 16 – 24 October 2019 with an invitation to a private event (limited to 200 successful registrants, selected at random) STEP 3: Upon invitation, you may attend a private event to purchase the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro and receive an exclusive gift bundle worth $463 NOTE: Those who did not receive the invitation will be informed of the next opportunity to purchase the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro.
Voice apps are changing the way we communicate. The
insatiable growth in smartphone use along with the increasing ubiquity of data connections
means that apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger and many other VoIP
(voice over internet protocol) service providers are offering an entirely new
platform for users to talk to each other.
Opensignal, an independent mobile analytics firm, has just released a report that measures the quality of over-the-top (OTT) voice services experienced by consumers across 80 countries, including Singapore. This marks the industry’s largest, independent survey of user experience of OTT services.
The Only Asia country Emerges the Top 10.
Of the 80
countries analysed for overall Voice App Experience, almost 25% (19) achieved a
‘Good’ rating — meaning many users in these countries were satisfied and
experienced minor quality impairments while using Voice Apps to communicate.
scores 81.7 trailing closely behind Switzerland (81.9) securing 8th
position among 80 countries surveyed. No country globally attained an
‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ rating.
were from outside Europe, which are Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan,
Australia and New Zealand get “Good” rating.
Voice App Experience on 4G networks
is most often ‘Good’
The 3G Voice
App Experience scores are consistently lower in every country compared with
their 4G equivalents, including Singapore. In this region, Singapore and
Hong Kong were the only countries who had a difference of less than 5 points between their 3G and 4G Voice App Experience score — an
indicator of what the mobile experience will be in future for highly matured
markets where 4G Availability is rising and is replacing 3G as operators
enhance their networks for smoother transitions.
To read more about the survey results, you may access the
It is now confirmed that regulatory approval has been given for Telstra to become 25% stakeholder for SCCN and the construction of subsea cable will soon commerce.
The shareholders have agreed to commit the necessary equity
funding to enable Southern Cross NEXT to proceed with additional funding raised
from debt and SCCN cash reserves. Although the transaction is still subject to
some conditions, these are procedural in nature and are expected to be
satisfied within the next few days.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has also been granted CIF
to build the new high capacity express route which, once complete, will be the
lowest latency path from Australia and New Zealand to the United States, based
on its design and route.
Southern Cross NEXT will provide data connectivity between
Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles and is scheduled for completion by January
2022. The new route will also provide critical international cable connectivity
to the Pacific Islands of Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati.
The new 13,483 kilometre cable system has been developed as
an extension of the existing
Southern Cross two cable eco-system. It will allow customers to leverage Southern Cross’ extensive point-of-presence network and access infrastructure already in place. It will also allow Southern Cross NEXT customers to flexibly assign new and existing capacity across the three routes across the Pacific, connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the United States, maximising diversity and resiliency.
Southern Cross NEXT represents a network investment of
around US$300 million by Southern Cross and is designed to carry 72 Terabits
per second of traffic, the equivalent of simultaneously streaming 4.6 million
ultra-high definition movies, ensuring Southern Cross can cater for its
customers’ growing data requirements well into the future. Services offered on
the new system will be an extension and integration of the services offered
across the current Southern Cross platform. The construction is being funded by
a combination of capacity payments, equity contributions and financing.
Singtel Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise Mr Ooi Seng Keat said: “Our investment in the Southern Cross NEXT cable is a timely reinforcement of our global network infrastructure. Together with the newly completed INDIGO submarine cable system, the enhanced Southern Cross cable ecosystem will be a new data superhighway connecting Southeast Asia to the United States, providing greater network diversity. The new cable system will enable Singtel and Optus to accelerate the roll-out of next-generation technologies that rely on low latency and high-bandwidth connectivity, reinforcing our position as one of the leading providers of international data services in the region.”
“With 80 per cent of all the internet traffic to Australia
coming from the US, a high speed, low latency direct route to North America is a
very important investment for our business and our customers,” Mr Ebeid said.
“Southern Cross builds on our existing footprint across
Asia Pacific where we carry 30 per cent of the region’s active capacity. We are
now even better placed to meet our customers’ future data requirements right
across Asia Pacific.”
Spark Chief Financial Officer Mr David Chalmers welcomed Telstra as a shareholder in Southern Cross: “The Southern Cross network provides critical connectivity between New Zealand and Australia, the Pacific Islands, and the USA. Southern Cross NEXT will ensure this network Cross can continue to provide that connectivity for the region, and meet our customers’ increasing data demands, for decades to come.”
Southern Cross’ President and CEO Mr Laurie Miller said: “The achievement of CIF is the result of a massive amount of effort by Southern Cross and the Sponsor teams over many months on the project. The addition of the new Southern Cross NEXT route to the existing platform will provide existing and future customers with further resiliency and connectivity options between Australia, New Zealand and the United States. We are delighted to have successfully achieved this key milestone, and all focus will now turn to the timely implementation of the new system, and the continued development of product enhancements to meet our customers growing and changing requirements.”
With significant work already completed including pre-sales,
marine survey, landing arrangements, Pacific Island agreements, detail design
and the cable RFT, the Southern Cross NEXT project is well positioned to meet
its target completion date of January 2022.
September 2019, Singapore – Technology is changing the way people work and two in five Singaporeans (18%) are scared or nervous about the future impact of technology on their job. The city-state’s workforce as second most nervous or scared globally, just behind French workers (20%) and tied with the British (18%).
These findings are from a new PwC report, Upskilling Hopes & Fears, which surveyed 22,000 adults across 11 countries worldwide, and build on PwC’s economic analysis on the impact of automation on jobs.
Singaporeans are starting to see the impact of technology on work and jobs. As a smart-nation, the pace of technological advancements is expected to be faster than neighbouring countries in South-East Asia, and both government and the private sector are adopting technology quickly which could potentially accelerate the impact on jobs. This makes Singapore jobs more susceptible to the impact of technological advancements.
When Singaporean workers were asked why they had felt nervous or scared about the impact of technology on their jobs, 58% were worried that technology would make their role redundant and 36% were worried that they wouldn’t have the right skills.
On top of that, about half the Singaporeans (54%) surveyed believe automation will significantly change or make their job obsolete within the next ten years. While most admit that technology would change their jobs significantly, 4% still believe that technology would not affect their day-to-day work.
Despite the uncertainty, there is also a sense of optimism. The report found that 53% of respondents indicated that they felt technology would bring about more opportunities than risks in the workplace and 85% felt that technology will change their work for the better.
“With technology, roles that are more process-driven are more at risk of being displaced and individuals doing these roles must prepare for their “version 2.0” role. For example, robotic process automation (RPA) is becoming more commonplace, driving greater efficiency in highly repetitive tasks. In the short term, this change will require employees to understand how to work with the technology. In the longer term, individuals with the skills to maximise these new opportunities will be the ones who thrive in the marketplace.”
Time to upskill
While employees seem to understand how the technology can be embedded into the workplace, they are concerned that they may not have the right skills to remain relevant as the business landscape changes. Given the clear recognition of the change that technology will bring, it is unsurprising that 81% of respondents in Singapore were already learning new skills to better understand or use technology.
Even if they weren’t already pursuing opportunities, 92% in Singapore said that they would take the opportunity to better understand or use technology if it were available to them. If their jobs were at risk, 85% of Singaporeans would learn new skills now or completely re-train in order to improve their future employability.
This is a clear reflection that individuals are aware of the necessity of upskilling. This is potentially due to the increase in efforts by both the public and private sector. For example, Singapore has put in place safeguards, such as the establishment of SkillsFuture to inspire an attitude of life-long learning amongst its citizens. Initiatives such as Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP), Industry Transformation Maps and SkillsFuture Frameworks serve as good and tailored guidance for organisations and individuals to prepare for their job in the future.
With the strong national push for upskilling there are many more opportunities in the market for Singaporeans to upskill, but ultimately it’s up to each worker to take the step. However, less than half of Singaporeans (44%) recognised that it is their own responsibility to upskill. 32% felt that upskilling was the government’s responsibility higher than the global average of 22%.
Although, only one in five (19%) felt that employers were responsible for upskilling their workforce, a majority of employers have already begun to play their part in championing the agenda. In Singapore, 76% of workers said that their current employer was giving them the opportunity to improve their digital skills outside of their normal duties, although only 31% of respondents indicated that they are currently upskilling through their employers. This seems to indicate that there is a need for some reconciliation between the skills employees need and what is being offered to them.
“Employers are faced with a lot of complexity in understanding, managing and mitigating the impact of technology on the world of work. It’s the type of wicked problem that requires a wide variety of perspectives; deeper insight in the demand and supply for job roles; the capability to redesign structures and roles; an understanding of the skills and capabilities required to fulfil new and changing roles; and the ability to coach and motivate people to embrace learning and upskilling. A challenging, yet very important problem to solve.”
Singaporeans emerged the most likely to be learning new skills through their employer, tied with the Dutch at 35%. As compared to the other countries surveyed, Singaporean workers were also the most likely to accept a lower level position in another company or industry if they believed their job was at risk of automation (60%, global 47%).
Looking across the markets surveyed, workers in China and India are by far the most upbeat about the impact of technology (even after adjusting for cultural bias), despite being the most likely to believe their jobs will change significantly. Workers in these regions are getting more opportunities to upskill: 97% and 95% respectively are being given these opportunities by their employers. On the other hand, workers in the UK and Australia say they are given the least opportunity to learn new skills. They also tend to be less positive about the impact of technology.
Despite Chinese workers being more positive about the impact of technology, it’s interesting to note that Singaporeans are taking more responsibility for their own upskilling as compared to their Chinese counterparts. Only 26% of Chinese workers reflected that it was the individual’s responsibility to upskill (as compared to 44% of Singapore workers), while 40% and 31% of them said the responsibility lies with the government and the businesses respectively.
Although Singaporean workers are ahead of the average worker when it comes to learning new skills (81% in Singapore, 77% globally), our population is still behind emerging countries such as India (96%) & China (96%).
“The world of work in changing rapidly. For Singapore to remain relevant on the world stage, every player must do their part to keep the momentum of digital upskilling going. Employers, industries and government play a significant role in this by partnering and creating opportunities for upskilling, supporting and encouraging Singaporeans to upskill in an effective way.”