Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Keynote Address - Seminar on Customer Engagment Through Mobile Solutions, Mariott Hotel

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Keynote Address - Seminar on Customer Engagment Through Mobile Solutions, Mariott Hotel
Singapore, 4 December 2000

Good Morning ladies and gentlemen.

1. I am happy to be here today at the invitation of Finesse Alliance to speak to you on the developments of the wireless industry here in Singapore. This came at a right time after the recent announcements of the 3G licensing framework and the issue of 3G licenses as well as our government initiatives to promote wireless developments for Singapore.

2. To start, let me paint a few scenarios of possible applications of wireless technology in the areas of finance, healthcare and hospitality. For Finance, in the area of insurance for an example, with m-commerce and mobile Internet, your customer can renew his car insurance with his mobile phone when he gets an alert that it's due. He can also be updated on the bonuses on premiums and make queries on his account. In the area of stock trading, this example is already becoming a reality where the person can programme his stock level alerts in his mobile and make a buy or sell decision on it when the level is right. Financial transactions with wireless can be made at the convenience of your customer anytime, anywhere.

3. In the area of Healthcare, the advent of 3G and mobile devices will mean that doctors during house calls can consult patient records synchronised with the hospital's database to retrieve patient information as well as help place orders for drugs through the inventory system. Doctors can therefore have a mobile office with the ability to treat their patients anywhere.

4. For the hospitality sector, I for one, will look forward to the day when I can check into the hotel with my mobile phone when I arrive at the airport. I will then receive my room confirmation number and pick up my hotel cardkey when I reach the hotel. I may not even need to go to the reception, as there may be a kiosk at the hotel where I can beam the confirmation number through and get the key issued to me directly. Well... it is early in the morning, but this certainly will not be just a dream.

5. Now coming back to reality - I will just briefly show you some figures on the mobile take-up rate in the world as well as in Singapore. Some of the reports project that more people will access the Internet on wireless devices than PCs by 2003 and about 1.4 billion people worldwide will be plugged into web-capable phones by 2004. By 2003, m-commerce transactions will be equivalent to where Internet was in 1998 with a total of B2C revenues totalling approximately US$100billion.

6. For Singapore, currently we have 1.9million mobile subscribers with a penetration rate of 66.3%. This is projected by IDC to grow to 2.5million by 2004. Gartner has also just released a report projecting that it will grow to 2.8million by 2004. Asia Pacific subscriptions will reach 342million by 2004. Mobile services revenue in Singapore is expected to hit US$1billion by 2004 with about 29% from wireless data applications. The market potential for mobile wireless services will be tremendous.

7. The telecom industry believes that the success of the wireless broadband offering with 3G will depend on the services provided. Therefore the challenges that a telco operator faces will increase as it needs to consider the entire wireless value chain from content creation to the final delivery of services to end-users. A typical service provider today, for example M1 or Starhub, can have multiple roles of an operator as well as content aggregator and more. Also, as the market progresses with more service and content providers coming onboard, there will be multiple service packagers who will resell the various packages to different operators and carriers. Users will have a choice of either utilising the service packages provided by the operators or subscribe separately to their own preferred content and service.

8. This slide from Ovum shows some of the typical applications that the industry is working to provide. Financial services can delivered as information & news with transactional capabilities; healthcare under emergency services and information whilst hospitality can make use of smart infrastructure capabilities with booking and transaction facilities.

9. How does Singapore stack up the broadband wireless scene? Through the Singapore ONE programme, we already have a strong broadband industry to leverage. This has established a pool of service providers, content developers and technology providers that are aggressively deploying their services and technologies. We also have very active wireless development scene with many companies developing solutions for first deployment through the Wireless Application Protocol or WAP. The wireless future for Singapore is already happening today.

10. IDA's vision therefore is to enable Singapore to leverage on our wireless technologies, content and competencies to develop a vibrant world-class infocomm sector that will contribute to our GDP & exports.

11. To achieve that, our Minister Yeo Cheow Tong has recently announced a $200million "Wired With Wireless" programme to promote the development of mobile infrastructure, services and products as well as the adoption of mobile communications. 8 thrusts have been outlined under the programme to support & stimulate the growth of wireless developments in Singapore. The aim is to position Singapore as having the best integrated infrastructure for both wireline and wireless.
12. As we examine the challenges facing the broadband wireless scene, we identified three focus areas that we will support under this "Wired With Wireless" programme. These are location-based services; mobile commerce and wireless multimedia. These areas were chosen as they are information-based, transaction-based and media rich content - all of which will be critical areas in the development of broadband wireless solutions. The media rich content will be in line with our 3G services and we will be able to leverage off our existing broadband content.

13. The eight thrusts that we outlined in our wireless programme framework covers thought leadership; market access development; technology development; infrastructure development; service & product development; to industry and consumer adoption.

14. While there is a detailed breakdown of each thrust, I have picked four areas to highlight today - these I hope will be of greater interest to you.

15. The first will be in the area of service and product development. We will be looking at proposals from the industry to identify key projects that will be launched starting in 2001 as showcases for Singapore, and act as a vehicle to quickly develop and/or strengthen the broadband wireless value chain. Important spin-offs from these key projects include infrastructure that has an industry-wide impact and products and services that has good export potential. These key projects can be in the areas of retail, transportation, airport systems or even homes.

16. As wireless technologies will revolutionalize many aspects of our lives both at work and play, it is important that our businesses leverage off our infrastructure and the wireless technologies available today to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness. To promote industry adoption of wireless technologies in business work processes and encourage the integration of m-commerce in business transactions - an M-commerce Industry Development scheme will be made available to industry players to co-fund the development of m-commerce applications by merchants. A Pilot project grant will be set-up to co-fund the implementation of pilots and trials by companies and the successful ones can then lead to the implementation of sector-specific industry-wide solutions such as in the manufacturing, logistics, finance and banking, healthcare and education sectors. We will be looking at sector specific projects in the area of infrastructure development to facilitate the use and deployment of m-commerce transactions.

17. Finally, in the area of consumer adoption. We will, through consumer awareness programmes, encourage early adoption and highlight the benefits of a wireless lifestyle to the public. This will be implemented in the form of public events and activities to showcase some of our key projects as well as products and services developed.

18. We will encourage the development of technologies and standards through our content/technology development schemes and wireless technology alliances. Through the "Wired With Wireless" programme, IDA hopes to develop a vibrant wireless development scene in Singapore and work towards making Singapore a choice location and launchpad for cutting-edge wireless communications technologies.

19. So, get "Wired with Wireless"! The details of the various programmes will be released by 1st Quarter next year. For queries and suggestions, please email to

20. Thank you