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Singapore - Gateway to Wireless Asia

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Opening Address - Telecom Global 2000 International Conference, Mandarin Hotel

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Opening Address - Telecom Global 2000 International Conference, Mandarin Hotel
Singapore, 20 November 2000


1. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I would like to thank the organiser,, for inviting me here today. It has been close to a month since we announced the 3G licensing framework and the Wired With Wireless programme. This year has been a rather exciting one for our infocomm industry beginning with the announcement of the telco liberalisation in January this year.

2. Before I share with you some of the accomplishments and milestones over the last 10 months in wireline and wireless developments, I would like to take you through the broader perspective of the Asian market and where Singapore fits into this perspective.

The Asia Market

3. By now, Asia is home to nearly half the world's population; and earlier this year, IDC's forecast for the Asia Pacific mobile subscription to reach 342mil. by 2004, at 27% CAGR, which would roughly equate to one-quarter of the world's mobile subscription.

4. This year, the Strategis Group has also predicted that Asia is about to emerge as one of the world leaders in the adoption of 3G wireless technology.

5. Forecasts by Ovum also point to Asia having the most number of m-commerce users after Europe by 2005.

6. All these indicate that Asia is indeed a strategic market for serious mobile and wireless players who want a significant piece of the global market share.

Singapore - Gateway to Wireless Asia

7. I would like to continue by sharing share with you why Singapore, as a vibrant telecom hub, plays an important role in Asia.

8. Since the full liberalisation of the telco sector on 1 April, we have more than 180 telecom licensees, of whom more than 160 of them are offering IP-based voice and data services, managed data network services, etc.

9. Also, based on the experience of other countries we have studied, the benefits of the telco market liberalisation is highly dependent on the way the liberalisation process is being managed. Hence, on 15 September, the Telecom Competition Code was released to govern fair and efficient market practices so that industry players can roll out their services quickly to the market.

10. On the broadband front, Singapore scores a world's first with our nation-wide broadband network, with 99% connectivity that includes fibre-to-the-curb, ADSL, cable modem and ATM access. On 18 September we have reached our target of 250,000 users with over 300 broadband players and more than 200 applications.

11. In addition, with direct telecom connection links to more than 100 countries, Singapore is the best connected Asian city. Singapore's connectivity spans the entire world with pipes ranging from more than 45Mbps (regional markets) to over 1Gbps (to the US). Telecom cables of over 28Tbps will also be laid in Singapore by end 2001.

12. Our 20 October announcement of the 3G licensing framework will indeed make Singapore one of the first countries in Asia to make 3G a reality. Among the growing pool of achievements from our Singapore industry in wireless developments, we have: the first WAP search engine Orktopas by WAPWorkz; world's first colour Palm PDA WAP browser called WAPman Colour by EdgeMatrix; Asia's first interactive mobile TV programme called U-Pop by; world's first mobile stock-trading solution for complicated mobile trading requirements by 3rd Frontier; and the list is set to expand.

13. With the advent of 3G mobile services, greater emphasis will be placed on the richness of content. Singapore boasts of a multicultural, multiracial and multilingual community with a ready pool of local and international content providers, as well as host of speech and language technologies. All these are crucial elements in the aggregation and re-distribution of content that are localised for the different parts of Asia.

Singapore - A Ready Market and Launchpad to Asia

14. In summary, Singapore is home to 5,000 MNCs and therefore offers you a wide range of potential of partners and customers in a vibrant business environment. Singapore also has a ready market which offers a faster rollout of your services that can help you realise faster payback from your investments. Singapore is your ideal test market with consumers who are avid adopters of technologies. With our excellent infrastructure, pro-business climate and international interconnectivity, Singapore is indeed poised to be your launchpad to Asia.

Wired with Wireless

15. I would like to continue with the wireless initiatives that have recently been developed to jumpstart the wireless developments in Singapore.

16. As, the buyer-seller model for 3G mobile business becomes increasingly complex in this huge Asia market, the critical success factors for a 3G incumbent will include: robust and scaleable technology, rich content, innovatively packaged services, and a population ever ready to try new offerings.

17. Since 1998, SingaporeONE has provided a sound, integrated broadband wireline infrastructure complete with multiple channels of content delivery which can be a tremendous leverage for wireless developments.

18. Hence on 27 October, IDA launched Wired With Wireless, a multi-pronged programme targeted at 3 areas: location-based services, wireless multimedia and m-commerce. The aim is to position Singapore as having the best integrated wireline and wireless infrastructure, a secure e-payment infrastructure for mobile on-line transactions as well as ready sources of accurate digital maps for location-based application development.

19. Up to S$200mil. from the 3G auction outcome will go towards developing the strategic thrusts under the Wired With Wireless programme, These thrusts have been identified to stimulate the growth of wireless developments in Singapore will address issues in thought leadership, market access and manpower development, technology and infrastructure development, products and services development, as well as industry and consumer adoption. Further details will be announced early next year.

Conclusion - Call for Action

20. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that Singapore is among the first in Asia to turn 3G into reality and have the necessary hard and soft infrastructure in place for your to test bed, deploy and market your 3G offerings here and the rest of Asia.

21. IDA looks forward to work with the industry to identify key projects in the areas of: retail, entertainment, transportation, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, trading and homes.

22. For more information about the Wired With Wireless programme, please write in to:

23. Thank-you.