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Wired With Wireless - Fostering Wireless Innovation

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - HP Bazaar Summer Camp, Suntec City Sky Garden

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - HP Bazaar Summer Camp, Suntec City Sky Garden
Singapore, 28 November 2002

Mr Leong Say Haur, General Manager, Enterprise Systems Group, HP, Singapore
Mr Chye Hoon Pin, Senior Director, Consumer Products, SingTel Mobile
Distinguished Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning to you.


1. Let me begin by congratulating HP on putting together this Bazaar Summer Camp. You have brought together a pool of developers and customers from Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Finland, Switzerland, Canada and the U.K. I am sure with such a combination of local and international experience and perspectives, you will have a vibrant and productive workshop.

The Outlook Today

2. The wireless market is a fast growing one and the possibilities of wireless applications are wide-ranging. Mobile devices are increasingly being deployed in businesses to improve capabilities and productivity of employees constantly on the move as well as in consumer lifestyles to enable seamless connectivity and interactive services. With more than 1 billion people expected to become digital wireless users by 2003, it is little wonder that the industry is looking towards mobile solutions and services as one of the key growth areas. According to IDC, worldwide revenue from wireless services is forecasted to be worth US$100 billion by 2004, with more revenues coming from data, content, services and applications.

3. Today, we have more mobile phones in use globally than personal computers. In Singapore, about 80% of Singaporeans own mobile phones. According to AT Kearney, Singapore has one of the highest SMS usage in the world. The mobile phone and other portable devices like PDA are fast becoming an iformation/entertainment/office device.

The Challenges Ahead

4. In a survey on broadband and wireless usage conducted by IDA last year, 89% of mobile subscribers indicated that their most used wireless application is SMS. On the other hand, the survey also revealed that only 10% of the mobile phone owners use their phones for other data services beyond SMS, such as email, transactions, etc. However, the availability of MMS and GPRS services today will provide the impetus to increase the use of data services in Singapore. But that is only one part of the component that is needed to stimulate the demand of wireless services, we will need to iron out issues pertaining to interoperability and security. Companies today will have to effectively deploy various architectures and applications using wireless technologies to support worker mobility and the use of wireless data services within organisations as well as enable a mobile lifestyle for Singaporeans. To do that, we should start by adopting a customer-centric approach to define how to maximise value for the end-user and then deploy appropriate technologies to leverage that value.

5. The availability of compelling and innovative wireless solutions and content will be the key to promote greater usage and drive adoption. In my opinion, the development of applications and services will help drive the resolution of this concern. This is where developers like yourselves play a vital role in providing the impetus to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative technologies.

The Working Living Lab - Nurturing the Local Wireless Industry

6. To encourage the development of compelling mobile or wireless applications, IDA has several initiatives under the Wired with Wireless programme. It was launched in October 2000 to jumpstart the development of wireless industry in Singapore focusing on 5 main areas, namely Mobile commerce, Location Based Services, Wireless Multimedia & Messaging, Wireless Enterprise and Mobile Machine-to-machine. One of key components of the programme is PATH - Pilots and Trials Hotspots - a $78 million initiative that aims to jumpstart wireless development as well as other emerging technologies by encouraging proof-of-concept and proof-of-value of applications and technologies. To date, about a third of the amount has been utilised to support companies in their efforts to pilot and launch innovative wireless or mobile applications and services.

7. Under PATH, IDA had a first Call for Collaboration (CFC) for mobile payment that brought about an alliance between SingTel, MobileOne and Starhub Mobile to facilitate the development of common nationwide mobile payment platforms. Beyond on-going mobile payment trials, other projects include Wireless JAVA, Mobile Workforce CFCs to bring together the various players in the value chain as well as potential end-users to develop and implement wireless Java and mobile workforce applications that has the potential to be commercially viable and to hone the products and services according to market needs.

8. Our next step for PATH will be to facilitate more pilots and trials in the other focus areas such as Wireless Multimedia & Messaging, Location based Services and Mobile Machine-to-machine applications. So if your companies have a good idea or a proposal in any of the areas, this is one avenue for you to develop and test it out in a real live environment.

9. Besides facilitating infocomm companies to develop and implement their solutions through pilots and trials, IDA has a Market Development (MADE) initiative that was set up last year to help accelerate companies' foray into potential markets. With support in market research activities for instance test marketing, companies can acquire the necessary market knowledge and shorten their learning cycles. We also work with companies to showcase successful and innovative products and services through joint promotional activities. More information on the various initiatives can be found on our website under the Wired With Wireless programme.

The Industry Collaborations - Harnessing Innovation

10. Industry efforts to stimulate the development of wireless applications are not lacking. A case in point is the Wireless Challenge, a competition organised and sponsored by the Singapore Information Technology Federation (SITF) Wireless Chapter, Cisco Systems, HP Mobile e-Services Bazaar, Siemens, and supported by the IDA and the National Library Board. It provides a platform for the public and industry to propose and develop creative and innovative wireless applications for end users. The competition received an overwhelming response of 129 entries of which 24 were shortlisted for development into prototypes by February 2003.

11. Our host today HP, is also one of the companies that works in collaboration with local key players and mobile applications developers in the mobile frontier. The HP Mobile e-Services Bazaar for example is one platform to help operators, service providers and enterprises to stay on top of developments in mobile technology. It accelerates the development of innovative solutions through partnerships. For instance, HP e-Services Bazaar together with Systems@Work was contracted by Suntec City Mall to design and execute a mobile payments infrastructure for retailers in the mall. Now consumers can use their mobile phones to authorise payment for goods at the retail counter.

12. HP also tied up with Ericsson and CityCab to implement a mobile solution that uses wireless devices in taxis to provide an interactive experience for passengers and taxi drivers. With the help of mobile e-services, CityCab passengers will be able to surf the web, send email, check stock prices, catch up on the latest news or even print information such as distance travelled and total fare - all from the back of a cab using voice activation and wireless technology. On the other hand, taxi drivers will be able to use an advanced mobile appliance to access mapping and routing information, accept e-payment options or process booking - allowing them to plan and manage their work anytime, anywhere.

13. HP e-Services Bazaar also helps companies to gain access to the Japanese market through HP Japan's lab facilities. For example, Vasunas, a Singapore-based animation technology company was invited to join the HP Mobile e-Services Bazaar in mid 2001. The local setup has since successfully made its foray into the lucrative youth market with its messaging service "mottome" in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.


14. In the converged wireless technology market, there is a need for effective partnerships across the value chain - between device manufacturers, network operators, middleware providers and application developers. I am pleased to see that HP is taking the initiative to bring developers together to interact, exchange ideas and share experiences through this HP Bazaar Camp. These initiatives support IDA's strategic intent to develop and promote the wireless cluster in Singapore and position Singapore as a wireless living lab of innovation and launch pad to the rest of Asia. I wish all of you good luck in your exciting journey over the next three days. As an ancient philosopher, Lao Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

15. And with this, I thank you.