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Singapore as a Leading Infocomm Hub in Asia

To further propel Singapore forward as a leading infocomm hub in Asia, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) launched a S$200 million wireless programme called "Wired With Wireless". This multi-pronged programme is aimed at positioning Singapore as having the best-integrated infrastructure...

Singapore, 24 October 2000 | For Immediate Release

New Wireless Initiatives to Position Singapore as the Nucleus for Wireless Activities

To further propel Singapore forward as a leading infocomm hub in Asia, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) launched a S$200 million wireless programme called "Wired With Wireless". This multi-pronged programme is aimed at positioning Singapore as having the best-integrated infrastructure for both wireline and wireless.

The "Wired with Wireless" programme was officially launched today by Mr Yeo Cheow Tong, Minister for Communications and Information Technology. It will complement Singapore ONE, the world's first nationwide broadband initiative. Singapore ONE has laid the foundation for the new wireless initiatives to position Singapore as having the best integrated infrastructure and most connected city in Asia. The wireless initiatives announced today adds to an overall holistic approach for wireless developments in Singapore, which will help the development of the wireless industry across the entire value chain.

"Wired with Wireless" completes last week's announcement to auction four Third Generation (3G) mobile licences. Singapore will be the first Asian country after Japan to issue 3G licences and complete the rollout of 3G services. The auction method was selected as most suitable in allocating 3G licences for the Singapore market, as it is objective and transparent and allows the market to efficiently allocate scarce spectrum and encourage rational bidding. The Singapore Government has set the auction reserve price at a conservative S$150 million, underscoring its commitment to develop Singapore into a nucleus for wireless activities. It is confident that the open and transparent 3G licensing framework will be attractive to both strong local and international 3G operators, and will help develop Singapore as a leading regional info-communications hub for wireless activities.

With the government's commitment to develop the wireless communications industry, it will re-invest S$200 million from the auction proceeds of 3G mobile licences to drive the "Wired with Wireless" programme. The programme will spur the development of wireless products and services by infrastructure developers, access service providers and content creators for both consumers and industry.

Said Ms Yong Yong-I, Chief Executive Officer, IDA, "The S$200 million set aside from the proceeds of 3G mobile licences auction will help to jump start and build a vibrant wireless industry. The launch of "Wired with Wireless" is the key to Singapore's vision of becoming the leading infocomm hub in Asia. The IDA will work together with other government agencies and the industry to realise this vision."

Statistics from IDC (International Data Corporation) indicated that by 2004, Singapore alone will have 2.5 million mobile phone subscribers, and by 2003, wireless Internet access users are expected to hit 61.5 million globally.

"It is a timely move given the explosive growth in the infocomm sector, particularly in the area of wireless development. Our aim is to strengthen Singapore's position as the 'Gateway to Wireless Asia'", added Ms Yong.

To promote the development of mobile infrastructure, services and products, as well as the widespread adoption of mobile communications, a multi-pronged approach for the wireless programme will be adopted. "Wired with Wireless" focuses on three main areas: location-based services, mobile commerce (m-commerce) and wireless multimedia.

These three focus areas aim to create a vibrant wireless industry for Singapore and enable companies to build and export wireless products and services; build a world-class wireless infrastructure so as to enable the industry to leverage on it and be more competitive in the wireless arena; and promote and enable a wireless lifestyle for Singaporeans.

Seven strategic thrusts have been outlined under the "Wired with Wireless" programme to support and stimulate the growth of wireless developments in Singapore. These seven thrusts are:

i. Thought Leadership: To turn Singapore into a world-class showcase for wireless infrastructure, renowned consultants and professionals will be engaged to provide consultancy and leadership in developing wireless projects and policies. Sabbaticals for leading academics at Singapore universities and other Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) will be introduced. Singapore will also attract and host major wireless events.

ii. Market Access Development: To help local companies regionalise and globalise this initiative will assist companies in their market research activities and formation of alliances with global players. Through this, companies will acquire the necessary market knowledge, which will shorten their learning cycles and allow them to move faster into potential markets.

iii. Manpower Development: To develop a supply of specialist knowledge and skills, as well as to further enhance R&D efforts in the wireless arena, a virtual Singapore Wireless Academy will be set up. In addition, a Wireless Attachment and Wireless Specialists Attraction Programme will be developed. This will be in collaboration with the various IHLs, such as Centre for Wireless Communications1, promotion of cross-border exchanges with companies and attraction of foreign talent to Singapore.

iv. Technology Development: To foster a conducive environment for product and service innovation, a Wireless Technology Alliance initiative, which aims to harness collaborative efforts between the industry and IHLs will be implemented. Through this effort, industry wide services and standards will be developed. To further facilitate companies' regionalisation and globalisation, the government will assist Singapore companies to work with renowned overseas wireless research parks, to gain access to the latest wireless technologies to aid in their new product developments. These companies can then benefit from rapid technology transfer and co-marketing with technology partners.

v. Infrastructure & Service / Product Development: The government will work with the industry to identify, develop and launch key projects that creates an impact for the overall Singapore economy. These projects, which are industry-driven, will result in the development of products and services that can be exported. These key projects can be in the areas of retail, entertainment, transportation, airport systems and homes.

In addition, to help Singapore achieve world-class excellence in wireless development within major vertical sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing, logistics, finance and banking, healthcare and education, a pilot project grant will be set up. This grant will co-fund the implementation of pilots and trials by companies, with the support of co-sponsoring organisations that will eventually use the developed services.

vi. Industry Adoption: To help the industry develop relevant capabilities and drive industry adoption of m-commerce, an industry development scheme for m-commerce will be introduced. This scheme will co-fund the set-up of m-commerce applications for merchants.

vii. Consumer Adoption: To encourage consumer adoption of m-commerce, awareness programmes and events will be organised to showcase m-commerce consumer applications, for example wireless banking, stock-trading, shopping and information services.

Through the seven thrusts of "Wired with Wireless", Singapore aims to be the choice location and launch pad for wireless technology developments in Asia. This will further affirms Singapore as the leading infocomm hub in Asia.


Note to Editor:

1 The Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) of the National University of Singapore is a national R&D centre funded by the National Science and Technology Board. For more information, visit

About Singapore ONE

Singapore ONE was commercially launched in 1998. It comprises a broadband infrastructure that provides high-speed, interactive, and multimedia applications and services for users. Developed by both MNCs and innovative Singapore companies, Singapore ONE' services are designed to appeal to users of all ages and occupations, as well as businesses. Singapore ONE has the full support of the Singapore government, and is driven by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the National Science & Technology Board, the Economic Development Board and the Singapore Broadcasting Authority. More information can be found at

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, visit

For media clarifications, please contact:

Ms Jennifer TOH
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-0508
Fax: +65 6211-2227

Ms Dulcie CHAN
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6211-1999
Fax: (65) 6211-2227