S'pore: IDA, Cisco spur networking development

Cisco's three-year agreement with Singapore's industry regulator is aimed at boosting research and development of next-generation IP networks.

SINGAPORE--Networking giant Cisco Systems has signed a three-year memorandum with the island-state's industry regulator to develop next-generation networking technology.

Chan Yeng Kit, chief executive of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said the partnership will see the authority provide manpower funding toward the development of technologies such as wireless mesh networks.

Cisco and IDA will jointly pump S$18 million (US$10.6 million) into the collaboration, but Chan declined to reveal the amount contributed by each party.

Other than research, the funds will also go into developing expertise in networking technologies, as well as establishing a new center in Singapore.

Craig Gledhill, managing director of Cisco Singapore, said the facility will be a showcase for next-generation networking technologies which integrate voice, video and data on a single wired or wireless network. He added that businesses in the region will be invited to preview such products from Cisco at the center, and evaluate the potential of full-scale roll-outs in other Asia-Pacific markets.

Chan said: "Many businesses now cannot survive a day without the Internet because they've anchored their entire communications, data and voice, on Internet Protocol platforms.

"Such platforms enhance business communications and lower operating costs," he added.

Under the agreement, both IDA and Cisco will also shore up efforts to develop and upgrade the skills of networking experts in Singapore. The authority aims to have more than 600 students and networking professionals trained and certified by Cisco over the next three years, Chan said.