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IDA and Intel to Work towards Making Seamless Connectivity in the Wireless World, A Reality in Asia


The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Intel Corporation today signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to formalize their collaboration to pave the way for seamless connectivity between the fixed and wireless worlds... 

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Intel Corporation today signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to formalize their collaboration to pave the way for seamless connectivity between the fixed and wireless worlds.

The collaboration, the IDA-Intel Wireless Hotspots & Network Interworking Initiative, is significant for Singapore and Asia as a whole, in that it is the first of its kind to involve the participation of operators and vendors from across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Through the interworking study and interoperability lab test, IDA and Intel look forward to the joint participation of operators and vendors from Asia Pacific, such as Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and beyond, and to the interlinking of these activities through Singapore, as Asia's living digital lab.

"IDA is pleased to work with Intel on the complex technical and business challenges in achieving seamless connectivity in the wireless world for Singapore and Asia. IDA, through this collaboration, will help to bring together different industry players of the fixed and wireless value-chain, to provide consumers a truly connected experience. Through this, we hope to also provide the impetus for a new source of revenue growth for the Infocomm sector." said Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer of IDA.

"As WiFi-deployed data services become increasingly important to the mobile industry, it is critical that end-users be able to easily move between different WiFi networks," Pat Gelsinger, Chief Technology Officer of Intel Corporation said. "This initiative is part of Intel's ongoing worldwide efforts to deliver compelling wireless computing experiences to end-users, anywhere on any device."

"Intel silicon products are the computing "engines" at the heart of thousands of millions networks around the world," added Gerry Greeve, Vice President and General Manager Intel Asia Pacific.

Consumers are now one step closer to enjoying a liberated roaming environment across networks, to achieve anytime-anywhere online access.

Currently, there are different operators providing services on different fixed-line and wireless networks which are based on different technical standards. This has resulted in multiple but isolated pockets of connectivity. In turn, consumers end up having to subscribe to different operators and receiving different bills, while grappling with the inconvenience of switching networks, such as remembering different passwords for different networks.

The IDA-Intel collaboration provides the glue that bridges the different Wireless LAN1, Wireless WAN(WWAN)2 and Fixed Wide Area Network(WAN)3 networks to achieve seamless connectivity and provide consumers with a more enhanced wireless lifestyle. With this, Wireless LAN users can enjoy the same kind of mobility, connectivity and seamlessness as today's mobile phone user, who can send SMS (short message service) and MMS (multi-media messaging service) messages across different networks.

"We see Singapore as an early adopter of wireless technology. Given its success with SMS and MMS interoperability efforts, as well as its standing as the gateway to Asia, Singapore is an ideal location for Intel to test and launch its R&D efforts to the rest of Asia, if not the world," Mrs Tan said.

The three-way technology collaboration comprises an interworking study, interoperability lab test and a technology exchange programme.

The Interworking Study

The interworking study explores ways to bridge communication in the Wireless LAN, Wireless WANs and Fixed Wide Area/ Wireline Networks. It will involve fixed and wireless network operators and equipment vendors to ensure industry feedback and consensus.

The interworking study culminates in a blueprint that defines the steps needed to achieve seamless connectivity by incorporating user roaming requirements, developing a harmonized interworking architecture, and finally submitting the proposed architecture to the relevant standards4 body for consideration. The study is expected to commence in April 2003 and the blueprint ready a year later.

The Interoperability Lab Test

Similarly, the interoperability lab test will also involve network operators and equipment vendors. It will test-out the viability of the recommendations put forth by the interworking study. In particular, the lab test will verify the interoperability of multi-vendor solutions that respective network operators use, particularly in the areas of user authentication, authorization and accounting.

"The interworking study and interoperability lab test will produce reference designs to guide industry deployment and standardization. This will in turn prevent Singapore's fixed and wireless networks from fragmenting into several, potentially proprietary implementations." said Mrs Tan Ching Yee, CEO of IDA.

Technology Exchange Programme

In line with IDA and Intel's joint commitment to deepen industry knowledge on fixed and wireless technologies, Intel will admit 10 training attachments from Singapore to work on aspects of the interworking study and interoperability lab test in the Intel labs, headquartered in Oregon, USA. This will contribute towards capability development in the Singapore wireless industry.

The total investment value of the IDA-Intel Wireless Hotspots and Network Interworking Initiative is S$3.9 million, which comprises mainly manpower and equipment costs.


Notes to Editor:

1 WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) allows a mobile user to connect to a local area network (LAN) through a wireless (radio) connection (eg: within a building). The IEEE 802.11 family of standards, eg. 802.11b and 802.11a, specifies the technologies for WLANs.

2 WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) uses various devices - land lines, microwave links, and radio waves, to service an area broader than that which can be covered by a WLAN, although typically with lower bandwidth. Examples of WWAN technologies are GPRS, CDMA-2000 and W-CDMA. WWAN technologies are often categorized into 'generations' such as 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.

3 WAN (Fixed Wide Area Network) is a fixed-line network that extends over a relatively large geographical area and enables broadband IP connectivity to a wide area public network (eg. the Internet). A user connects to the WAN through public access networks with technologies like ADSL and cable modem. The largest WAN is currently the Internet itself.

4 Standards Bodies. International standardization bodies related to this collaboration are: - the 3rd Generation Partnership Project ( 3GPP, );
- the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 ( 3GPP2,;
- the GSM Association (GSMA, );
- the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF, ) and
- the Wi-Fi Alliance ( ).

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

About Intel

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at Intel is an industry leader in the WiFi space, actively participating in the industry standardization of WiFi technologies, and investing heavily in WiFi compatible products, platforms, and industry initiatives. In 2002 Intel announced that it will be investing over $150 million in companies that develop WiFi-related products. The WiFi Interoperability program is part of Intel's overall wireless vision for enabling high performance computing and communication anywhere, any time, on any device.

For media clarification, please contact:

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
Ms Ho Hwei Ling
Senior Manager, Corporate Communication
DID: +65-6211-1996
Fax: +65-6211-2227

Intel SemiConductor Ltd
Regional PR Manager
DID: +852-2240-3359