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Industry to Lead Mass Adoption of Broadband

SINGAPORE – 26 APR 2001

A vibrant and self-sustaining broadband ecosystem for Singapore. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced the launch of a $30 million programme aimed at stimulating ... 

Key initiatives to propel the Industry in Next Phase of Singapore ONE

A vibrant and self-sustaining broadband ecosystem for Singapore. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced the launch of a $30 million programme aimed at stimulating the creation of broadband value-chains to increase broadband penetration and usage in Singapore.

The programme will encourage industry partners to focus on the development of value-add broadband applications and services for home, work and school environments through three new initiatives: Home Environment Initiative, Work Environment Initiative and Learning Environment Initiative.

Spurring Mass Adoption

Singapore ONE, the nation-wide broadband initiative, is entering its third phase of development. The first being the pilot phase which centred on building a highly accessible broadband infrastructure and developing key services that would encourage consumers and businesses to invest in high-speed and efficient broadband access.

The second is the early adoption phase where the focus was to nurture a vibrant Interactive Broadband Multimedia (IBBMM) industry and build the level of advanced applications and services that capitalise on the infrastructure's high-speed and high-capacity capabilities for the early adopters.

With six broadband access providers, more than 300,000 users, over 300 broadband industry players and 200 broadband applications and services, the Singapore broadband market is moving from early adopter to mass adoption phase.

To help propel the mass adoption phase, three initiatives are introduced to create new value chains and increase broadband penetration and usage. They are:

  • The Work Environment Initiative encourages the development and deployment of broadband infrastructure access services. This will encourage corporate users to use broadband as a high-speed business and advanced communications infrastructure. IDA will work with Management Solution Providers (MSPs) and other Broadband Access Service Providers to quicken the pace of deployment and value-add to existing offerings. Projects include telecommuting, Application Service Providers (ASP) services and business portals.
  • The Home Environment Initiative seeks to enhance the consumers' online experiences in two ways. The first is to increase the supply of high quality broadband content and services to home users. This will include assisting content players to co-license or develop compelling content suitable for home consumption. The second is to facilitate pilots and trials of convergent products and services for home use. These may include home networking, Small Office Home Office (SOHO) and other new media devices that will make use of the broadband infrastructure.
  • Building on the success of FastTrack@School Programme, the Learning Environment Initiative seeks to encourage more schools in the pilot scheme to partner education service providers and develop comprehensive broadband education content packages. This will in turn encourage more service providers to work together and provide comprehensive packages to cater to the schools' requirements. Such partnerships will, in turn, facilitate collaboration with their counterparts in other countries.

"In the third phase, we aim to provide a conducive environment for industry players to deliver the applications and services that would enhance the online experiences of users at home, work and schools. The Broadband Initiatives will help encourage broadband content and service providers in various value chains to link up and provide attractive value-added services for users. We want more Singaporeans to explore the unlimited possibilities that broadband access brings," said Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive for Infocomm Development, IDA.

Strengthening Industry Alliances

Partnerships between local, regional and international players continue to be a key focus for Singapore ONE. Two new strategic alliances formed are:

  • Pandora, M&E and Innovatv
    The collaboration between Singapore-based Pandora, China-based M&E and US-based Innovatv is a synergistic alliance for their project, Veever.com. Targetting Chinese community worldwide, the broadband-enabled site will feature videos and information on a large variety of lifestyle topics in Simplified Chinese.
  • Kadokawa, Sumitomo and Compudia
    First of its kind in Singapore, the joint venture, Walker Asia Entertainment Pte Ltd (Walker Asia), is set to take broadband content to another exciting level of user experience. With content developed by Kadokawa Shoten Co. Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation; and digital architecture provided by Singapore-based, Japanese-owned, Compudia Pte Ltd, Walker Asia aims to deliver rich contents on music, celebrities, fashion and other lifestyle trends to the audiences in Singapore and key Asian markets.

The latest strategic partner to join the ranks of Singapore ONE is iMBC, a subsidiary of MBC, the second largest broadcaster in Korea. Singapore broadband multimedia content providers can tap on iMBC's high production capabilities, extensive business relationships, as well as distribution, localization and marketing capabilities, for the Korean broadband market.

Two other new applications are also rolled out on Singapore ONE include:

  • The launch of Bazool.com, a complete entertainment portal, by Online Media Group (OMG) in the middle of May.
  • The launch of a new broadband music channel by Swedish-based Popwire.

Refer to Annex A for the profiles of all new partners and the new services of Singapore ONE.

This is amongst the pool of over 20 Singapore ONE international and regional broadband partners. These include international players like Mirror Image Internet, Madge Web, Speedera, Microsoft, RealNetworks and Asian partners like Gigamedia and Speedcast.

Regional Thrusts

To foster greater cross-border strategic partnerships, a pilot scheme called "Fast Asia" has been initiated to help industry players address issues involving multi-party localisation, re-purposing, packaging, marketing and distribution agreements across parts of Asia. Today, Fast Asia has a reach of about four million users in Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Some of the partners who have participated in this pilot include Planet MG, Vivamusic, Sharkstream, Gigamedia and Asia I Want In.

"We are committed in our efforts to encourage more regional and international collaborations to develop the entire Asian broadband market. Singapore can be used as a test-bed and launch pad for broadband applications and services developed in the region and beyond. The growth of the broadband market in Asia will benefit the region as a whole," said Mr Khoong.

Efforts to help increase the usage of broadband applications and content include the launch of a Broadband Channel Guide in June and a Broadband Industry Directory. The former will provide a platform for industry players to promote their content and services. The latter comprises a listing of all the broadband industry players in Singapore, which will facilitate the search of broadband players for complementary business partners.

"Hooked On Broadband 2001"

The FastTrack Seminar series, "Hooked On Broadband 2001" is an effort under the FastTrack Programme to help grow the interactive Broadband multimedia industry. It seeks to create a platform by bringing together key broadband players in the industry to discuss, and share about the latest broadband developments, and also to network amongst themselves. It was held on Thursday, 26th April 2001 in Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

More than 300 local and regional delegates from the broadband industry attended the event. An exhibition will be held concurrently to showcase innovative broadband applications and services.

The panel of eminent local and overseas industry speakers include Mr. Andrew Buay, CEO, SingTel Multimedia; Ms Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker, Director of GigaPort; Mr. Carlos Alcazar, Special Advisor, Pearson Broadband; Mr. To Chee Eng, Principal Analyst, Telco, Gartner Group; Dr. Jack Loo, Country Manager, NetValue Singapore; and Mr Tan Seng Wan, Chairman and CEO, Pandora Interactive Studio Pte Ltd.


ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT,
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

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, please visit www.imda.gov.sg.

About Singapore ONE

Singapore ONE was commercially launched in 1998. It is a broadband initiative that comprises a nationwide broadband infrastructure that provides high-speed access and the development of interactive, and multimedia applications and services for users. Developed by both MNCs and innovative Singaporean 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 http://www.s-one.gov.sg.

About FastTrack Programme

FastTrack Programme is a first-stop service point for local and international Interactive Broadband Multimedia (IBBMM) industry. It was created with the aim of developing Singapore's IBBMM capability by creating opportunities, partnerships and exchanges with regional and international IBBMM players. FastTrack facilitates the process of broadband business conceptualisation, implementation and marketing.

For more information, go to website http://fasttrack.s-one.net.sg or email fasttrack@imda.gov.sg

For media clarification, please contact:

Kelvin Lee
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Phone:+65 6211 1726
Email: kelvin_lee@imda.gov.sg

Yang Soon Chin or Wong Mei-Hwen
Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
Tel: +65 6733-1110 ext. 235 / 201
Fax: +65 6733-5550
Email:scyang@edelman.com.sg or mhwong@edelman.com.sg

ANNEX A : SINGAPORE ONE: NEW INDUSTRY ALLIANCES AND APPLICATIONS

I) New Industry Alliances
1. Pandora, M&E and Innovatv
The collaboration between Singapore-based Pandora, China-based M&E and US-based Innovatv is a synergistic alliance for their project, Veever.com. Pandora's expertise in new media content creation and M&E's capabilities in documentary content production have brought the two companies together to produce a broadband-enabled site using Innovatv's technology.
Targeting Chinese community worldwide, the site will feature videos and information on a large variety of lifestyle topics in Simplified Chinese. Some of its content will also be made available to Singapore ONE users.

About Pandora
Pandora Interactive Studio is a leading internet solutions and creative content provider based in Singapore. Established since 1996, Pandora has pioneered the local internet industry and is currently positioned as a New Economy Enabler, helping companies realise their online business strategy through our suite of services ranging from media consulting, web development and innovative technology execution. Pandora's recent push and breakthroughs into the broadband and wireless arena reflects our commitment to sharpen our competitive edge as a new media solutions provider.

About M&E
M&E (China) Inc. is a vertically integrated, digital-media company. Based in China, M&E is committed to the production of interactive, multimedia Chinese language content and digital media services for distribution over broadband and traditional media platforms throughout the Asia-Pacific region. M&E is uniquely positioned at the forefront of media convergence within the region. Founded in 1999, the Company's rapid growth is driven by a team of well-seasoned business executives who draw upon extensive experience in the international and Chinese market place with leading media companies, such as Dow Jones, CNBC Asia, and the Shanghai Television Station.

About Innovatv
Innovatv (pronounced "Innovative") develops technology solutions for the production and delivery of interactive video applications for the media, eLearning and security marketplaces. Since 1997, Innovatv developed and proven their technologies and solutions through work with leading media companies Bloomberg, Twentieth Television, NBC, HGTV and The Weather Channel. This has led to their stable yet robust interactive video solution that excels in multiple network environments and across a variety of devices.

Due to the strength of their technology and processes, Innovatv has successfully leveraged their solutions across additional industries, including eLearning and video-based security.

Editorial Contact :
Florence Lim 
Pandora Interactive Studio Pte Ltd
520 North Bridge Road
#02/03-01 Wisma Alsagoff
Singapore 188742
Tel: +65 6333-4112 ext. 213
Fax: +65 6333-4123
Email: florence@pandora.com.sg
Website: http://www.pandora.com.sg

Pearl Wong
M&E Inc
511 Wei Hai Road
Suite 1718
Shanghai 200041
China
Tel: 86-216-2170177
Fax: 86-216-2670240
Email: pearl@me-china.com
Website: http://www.me-china.com

K C Watson
innovatv.com
12625 High Bluff Drive
#315
San Diego California 92130
Tel: 858-2592957
Fax: 858-2595708
Email: kcwatson@innovatv.com
Website: http://www.innovatv.com

2. Kadokawa, Compudia and Sumitomo
As part of its expansion into the multimedia business, Kadokawa Shoten Co. Ltd. has partnered with Sumitomo Corporation and Singapore-based, Japanese owned company, Compudia Pte Ltd, to set up a joint venture in Singapore with the help and support of IDA. The new venture, Walker Asia Entertainment Pte Ltd. (Walker Asia), will adopt the name of Kadokawa's popular magazine series, Walker.

First of its kind in Singapore, the joint venture is set to take broadband content to another exciting level of user experience. With content developed by Kadokawa and Sumitomo, and digital architecture provided by Compudia, Walker Asia aims to deliver rich contents on music, celebrities, fashion and other lifestyle trends to a Singapore audience via Singapore ONE, some of which will be delivered to key Asian markets at later stages.

Besides the production of new content, existing content will also be repackaged for traditional or broadband delivery and consumption. Aside from content creation, Walker Asia will be launching a contest to groom media talent from Singapore.

Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co. Ltd
Found in 1945, Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd.(Listed in the Second Section of the TSE) is the leading publisher of books and magazines in Japan. It is now developing multimedia business, which includes the publication of magazines devoted to providing various information, including town information, the provision of service to the public to retrieve such information electronically via the Internet, etc., and the production of movies and software for games. Kadokawa maintains close relationships with the leaders in the publishing industry, movie and musical entertainment industries.

Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation plays a key global role in the exchange of goods, services, and technology among nations and cultures. We are one of the largest "Sogo Shoshas" in Japan, or integrated trading companies, and have long been one of the world`s largest businesses in terms of sales. We have 8,192 employees, and together with its 767 consolidated subsidiaries and associated companies around the world employs 33,057 people. Over the years, the scope of our business has expanded from that of a trader to become an investor, financier, and expediter of ideas. Building on an illustrious tradition that can be traced back four centuries, we continue to display a remarkable ability to adapt quickly to the changing times.

Compudia Pte Ltd
Compudia Pte Ltd is a high-tech startup incorporated in Singapore and a subsidiary of Compudia Holdings Corporation. The Company is headed by experienced Japanese professionals who possess technology and know-how in the area of multi-media platform and Internet application development.

Compudia Pte Ltd is pursuing continued research and creation of multi-media platforms and content development which will enhance its Interactive broadcasting service to be launched in the coming months. Compudia's Interactive broadcasting service will be delivered through Singapore's broadband infrastructure. The Company has produced Web-based and client-based platforms that accommodate Web features which enhance communications and content sharing. Additionally, Compudia's media-oriented applications will be integrated with the Interactive broadcasting service to provide complementary functions for its users.

Editorial Contact
a) Mr. Jun Iwata 
Assistant General Manager
Corporate Communications Department
Sumitomo Corporation
Tel: (03)3217 5081
Email: jun.iwata@sumitomocorp.co.jp 

b) Mr. A. Seki
Chief Executive Officer
Compudia Pte Ltd
Tel : 723-5639
Email:seki@compudia.com

c) Mr Yosuke Toyoda
Assistant General Manager
Corporate Planning Department
Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
Tel: (03) 3238 8401
Email: toyoda_y@kadokawa.co.jp

1. Bazool.com
As a follow up to the partnership sealed last year, Online Media Group (OMG) is targeting to roll out Bazool.com on Singapore ONE in the middle of May. Bazool.com is a complete entertainment portal encompassing radio, television, movies, games and news content. For the launch, the Bazool.com portal boasts of its own browser accessing programming such as travel, games, entertainment, news and movies.

About Online Media Group
Online Media Group (OMG) was formed in 1999 to build an online media network and pursue interests in all forms of Broadcast and Internet publishing.

As a multimedia content warehouse, OMG controls and creates multiple forms of entertainment, news and information for broadband television, Internet radio, online communications and magazine-style applications incorporating full user interaction and purchasing capabilities.

OMG aggregates content from outside suppliers as well as creating its own material.

In 2000 OMG formed a strategic partnership with Becker Entertainment, one of Australia biggest producers of television and importers of movies. This co-venture gives OMG access to more than 7000 hours of celluloid and video content.

OMG is technology-independent, capable of delivering all forms of content through the Internet, broadband, WAP, GPRS phones and all other distribution systems forecast for the future.

Executive Chairman, Graham McVean, one of Australia's most experienced Broadcast executives, holds a controlling interest in Online Media Group.

Editorial Contact:
Darren McVean
Director of New Media and Production
Level 5, 55 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: 02 9290 1889
Fax: 02 9290 2118
Email:darren@omg.net.au
Website:www.omg.net.au

2. Popwire.com
Popwire, a leading site for free downloadable music and entertainment content, launched a new broadband channel on the Singapore ONE . Supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the channel will provide users with a wide variety of music related content and access to a comprehensive catalogue of quality music. Visitors will also be able to enjoy Internet Radio, Web-TV and editorial content.

About Popwire
The Popwire Group consists of three divisions - Popwire Music, Popwire Media and Popwire Technology. The core business concept is the production and distribution of entertainment content.

Popwire Music acts as a Pop Star generator giving artists the opportunity to achieve success and allowing the music industry to acquire and launch new stars with a proven track record.

Popwire Media is a content aggregator and distributor, featuring Internet, Radio and TV content produced in-house as well as externally produced material.

Popwire Technology develops IP based applications and broadcasting solutions for the Popwire Group, as well as external partners. The focus is on creating streaming media solutions for the Internet and the third generation of mobile communication.

Popwire syndicates content to several major portals and has strategic partnerships with leading technology companies. Popwire has 45 employees and is based in Sweden, with offices in Stockholm and London as well as local representatives in Tokyo and New York.

Editorial Contact:
Henrik Kolga
Director, Corporate Communications
Popwire
Tel: (46) 8 506 667 28
Mobile: +46-733-25 44 29
Email: henrik.kolga@popwire.com

III) Strategic Partner
About iMBC
Internet MBC, Inc (iMBC) is a full-fledged Internet business company established by Mun Hwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), the second largest broadcaster in South Korea. By conducting the internet business for MBC, iMBC will add a decisive competitive edge to the national internet business through digital broadcasting as well as high-value added digital contents that would come hand in hand with basic internet business development. iMBC focuses on delivering high quality service of diverse contents to expand the media business that will situate iMBC as the pioneer of the broadband environment.

Editorial Contact:
Ms Jisoo Kim
iMBC
14 flr, Hyekang Bldg
157-36 Samsung-Dong
Kangnam-Gu, Seoul
Korea
Tel: 2105-1124
Fax: 2105 1234
Email:Audry@imbc.com

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