31 January 2007 - Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive/Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the China Telecom (Singapore) Pte Ltd Inauguration Ceremony, Hotel Intercontinental.
Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive/Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the China Telecom (Singapore) Pte Ltd Inauguration Ceremony on 31 January 2007, Hotel Intercontinental.
Mr Leng Rong Quan, President, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Director, China Telecom Corporation Pte Ltd,
Mr Li Ming Lin, Minister-Councilor, The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Singapore,
Mr Ma Yimin, President and CEO, China Telecom ( Hong Kong ) International Limited, and Chairman, China Telecom ( Singapore ) Pte. Ltd,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good evening. I am very pleased to be here today, to witness the inauguration of China Telecom (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
2. Singapore’s telecoms sector has been opened since April 2000. Today, there are more than 800 players in the market, and we welcome China Telecom to Singapore. Let me extend our best wishes to company as well.
3. I trust that China Telecom will find plenty of business opportunities here, particularly with rising infocomm adoption rates by both companies and individuals. For example, total corporate broadband subscriptions have been rising steadily, and in just one year, from November 2005 to November 2006, it rose from 62,100 subscriptions to reach 70,500 subscriptions. Household broadband penetration also increased tremendously, from 50.5 per cent in November 2005, to 61.1 per cent as of November 2006. In terms of mobile penetration, we have crossed the 100 per cent mark.
4. Singapore’s telecoms market has also seen many exciting developments recently. As we all know, there is increasing convergence of the internet, TV and telecommunications. Telecoms service providers today no longer only provide telecoms services, but may move on to look at content provision. We see the roll-out of IPTV, HDTV and VoIP services that seek to further enhance communications and benefit users. I am sure you will agree with me that this rapidly developing space of converged technologies presents many fresh possibilities for both telecoms players and content providers, and will be part of future telecoms growth.
5. Singapore has also invested heavily in infrastructure to support the growth of these new services, most of which require increasing bandwidths. As part of our latest 10-year infocomm masterplan, Intelligent Nation 2015, or iN2015, Singapore is building a next-generation infocomm infrastructure that will provide wired broadband connectivity at speeds of 1Gbps and beyond, and a pervasive wireless broadband network. Most recently in October 2006, IDA launched Wireless@SG, an initiative under iN2015’s infrastructure plans. Singaporeans and visitors to Singapore can now enjoy free wireless connections at hotspots such as downtown shopping belts and the Central Business District. By September this year, Wireless@SG will expand the number of Wi-Fi hotspots in Singapore by more than five-fold, from 900 today to about 5,000. You can be sure that Singapore will be a hotbed of infocomm activities.
6. China is also abuzz with infocomm activities, and like Singapore, we share a common belief that investments in IT and telecoms can only generate greater social and economic growth for our countries. With China Telecoms’ entry into Singapore, I look forward to more industry collaborations and exchanges between Singapore and China’s telecoms companies, so that together, we can drive greater economic growth, and use infocomm to better lives and businesses.