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Wired With Wireless - Savvy Adopters Seek Innovative Trail Blazers

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - Singapore Location-Based Services Seminar, Shangri-La Hotel

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - Singapore Location-Based Services Seminar, Shangri-La Hotel
Singapore, 21 November 2002

Mr Marlin Nelson, Snr VP (Global Sales), Cambridge Positioning Systems,
Mr Hui Wing Cheong, VP (Consumer Products), Singapore Telecommunications,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to you.


1. First of all, I would like to thank our host, Cambridge Positioning Systems (CPS), for putting together this event and for inviting me to be here today. This is a good opportunity for us to share and exchange views on various wireless developments and in particular location-based services.

Innovators Blaze the Trail

2. Some of you may have heard of the restaurant, Colours by the Bay, at the newly opened Esplanade.  Some of you may also know that the restaurant has a wireless ordering system.  However, few of you would know that Andrew Tan, the Managing Director of the Colours F&B Group, has been a wireless user at work for the last 10 years.  His "wireless" experience started when he was working at a Japanese restaurant in Jurong where orders were keyed in using bulky infrared handhelds.

3. Today, with improved and more affordable wireless technologies such as data-ready devices and 802.11b, Andrew's vision for his F&B business is not limited to just a wireless ordering system, but a full-fledged restaurant system that incorporates procurement, reservations and customer relationship management. 

Wireless Landscape

4. Andrew Tan certainly bears the characteristics of an early adopter for wireless technologies.  He represents a growing trait amongst Singaporeans, making Singapore a ready test bed for wireless applications and services.   Over the last 2 years, we have seen:

a. A mobile penetration rate of over 70%,
b. One of world's highest in SMS usage,
c. Wide availability of Java-based GPRS handsets and the latest MMS offerings.

5. To further grow Singapore's position as a living lab for innovative wireless developments, IDA has committed part of its 3G license fees to implement a Wireless programme - known as "Wired With Wireless".  The programme aims to promote the development and adoption of wireless applications and services in 5 areas, namely:

a. Mobile commerce;
b. Wireless enterprise;
c. Wireless multimedia and messaging;
d. Machine-to-machine communications; and
e. Location-based services.

Wireless Adoption

6. With one of the world's highest SMS usage, there is still a potential of growth for more sophisticated usage of mobile data services. In a Broadband and Wireless Usage survey commissioned by IDA in 2001, a few observations were made from the 3,000 Singapore residents surveyed:

a. Firstly, SMS is the most commonly used wireless service by 89% of mobile phone and PDA users. 
    This means the typical Singapore resident enjoys person-to-person communication.
b. However, about 10% of the same users have used the other applications and services listed via
    their mobile phone or PDAs. What is interesting is that the adoption of mobile phones and PDAs are
    more common among  users in industries such as: 
    - Logistics and transportation;
    - Entertainment;
    - Banking and Insurance and
    - Real estate

This basically means that is a growth potential for more sophisticated, value-added data services, especially among users who are in these sectors. What we really need to do now is to determine what are some of the applications and services that will help drive greater usage.

Implications for LBS

7. Currently, information for example is presented in a one size fits all mode.  The relevance and timeliness of the information is dependent on what the user asks, and how he asks for the information. The challenge here is how can we simplify a user's request and yet provide contextual or situational information.  This is where Locations-Based Services can play a part in going beyond presenting choices and into making useful recommendations. 

8. So how can LBS help provide contextual or situational information or services? The answer will be in the ability to determine "who, what, where and when". For example:

 a. (who):  Let us step into the shoes of a young QC supervisor named Jane.  She is a fan of Chinese TV   
     drama serials.  She takes great pride in her VCD collection and maintains an up to date collection of the
     latest serials. 
 b. (what): Her current search is on for a new series called "Romance of the Book and Sword".  
 c. (where): On Tuesday afternoon, Jane knocks off from work at 3pm, after a 12-hour shift.  Since she is off
     duty the next day, she takes an MRT into town and alighted at the Raffles City MRT station. She receives   
     an MMS on her mobile phone that "Romance of the Book and Sword" VCD is available at a CD outlet   
     located on the 3rd floor of the Raffles City Shopping Centre. 
 d. (when): Along with the MMS, Jane was offered an air-voucher that is a joint promotion between this
     CD outlet and restaurant Colours by the Bay at the Esplanade. She will be entitled to a $10 voucher to
     dine at the restaurant if she accepts the promotion and makes a reservation for the VCD through her
     phone. Jane makes the reservation and picks up the VCD from the shop just before she goes home.

LBS Efforts in Singapore

9. The potential of LBS is tremendous and it can pave the way for greater usage of mobile data services.  With the availability of GPRS, MMS, multimedia phones and PDAs coupled with a good infrastructure, companies have initiated some pilots and trials for LBS in Singapore.

10. The Cambridge Positioning Systems and SingTel Mobile EOTD trial in Tampines Town is one example.  It is CPS' first technology trial in a real commercial environment, presenting opportunities for application and hardware developers to trial new location-enabled solutions.

11. Apart from this trial, another industry-led LBS effort include the setting up of a Siemens Location-Enabling Center (SLEC) in September this year.  Located as part of Siemens' mobilizer Regional Wireless Centre at Singapore's Science Park II, the SLEC makes training and support facilities available to LBS developers in the region.

12. The SLEC offers a comprehensive LBS test environment based on LIF standards.  It's test environment brings together the Siemens Location Platform, Siemens Location Enabling Server and GeoToolBox Server and the multi-layered digital Singapore maps from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).  The SLA's maps are authoritative and comprehensive and will form the foundation for the development of other future LBS applications.

13. Singapore and regional wireless developers will be able to use the SLEC as a platform to hone their LBS product and service development capabilities.


14. Singapore with its ready infrastructure, easy access to the latest technologies and a good base of mobile users makes a good test-bed for LBS applications. 

15. Beyond this joint pilot project between CPS and SingTel Mobile, there is a potential to develop other LBS trials and applications that can

a. Make use of high-accuracy positioning capabilities such as fleet management and asset tracking;
b. Enhance user experience through a creative combination of enabling technologies such as MMS and Java.

16.  IDA through the Wired With Wireless programme will continue to work with the industry to support and encourage the development of innovative trail blazing wireless applications and services.

17. On this note, I thank you for being a wonderful audience and wish you a pleasant day ahead.