Linking People. Building Communities

Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development, IDA Singapore - Speech "Connecting The Homes" Call For Collaboration, SICEC Rm 209 ...

Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development, IDA Singapore - Speech
"Connecting The Homes" Call For Collaboration, SICEC Rm 209

Singapore, 23 January 2003

Good afternoon distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies & gentlemen.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for joining us at this media conference for the award of the "Connecting the Home" Call for Collaboration.

Growing Local & Global Demand

A recent survey conducted by AC Nielsen1 among 450 households surfaced some interesting findings. We found significant interest among the respondents for connected homes.About a third of the respondents indicated that they were "definitely interested' or "quite interested" to have a connected home.About 3 out of 10 respondents owned two to three PCs or laptops and some were already using home networking to share files and common resources like the printer.

Beyond Singapore, there is also a global demand for Connected Homes solutions and services. A report released by the Cahners In-Stat Group2 projected that the connected home market will grow seven times over five years from US$1.4 billion in 2001 to US$9.2 billion worldwide by 2006. This shows that there is a market potential and it is important for our companies to be ready to capture part of this growing market

Connected Homes Programme

In April last year, our Chairman, Mr Lam Chuan Leong, launched the Connected Homes programme. The Call for Collaboration for the first thrust, "Connecting the Home", followed shortly after. The programme aims to provide a test-bed environment for the industry to jointly develop innovative and integrated end-to-end solutions for the home and the community. These solutions will be piloted in households to gather users' feedback. This will help the consortia to further refine their solutions for the market as well as to give Singaporeans an opportunity to experience the Connected Lifestyle.

Singapore has all the pre-requisites to provide an ideal environment for the development and piloting of Connected Homes solutions. We have an excellent broadband infrastructure, high mobile phone penetration of 76.9% and an Infocomm-savvy population. About 57% of the households in Singapore have Internet connection3 and about 1 in 3 Singapore residents aged 10 years and above are broadband users4. This shows that Singaporeans are already embracing Internet and wireless technology in their daily lives.

Leveraging on ICT for Singapore

As Infocomm technology (ICT) becomes more pervasive and imperative, countries around the world are gearing up their efforts to stay competitive and relevant in such fast-changing times. Singapore will need to constantly innovate to maintain our leading position in the ICT arena so that we can continue to enjoy increased productivity and a high quality of life. The global economic downturn may have posed some challenges for Singapore but this will strengthen our resolve to overcome the short-term difficulties ahead.  It is now more important than ever to try to leverage on our existing strengths to build a competitive edge that will take companies beyond just survival. Companies that continue to innovate will be ready to sprint ahead once the economy recovers.

IDA will continue to support innovative efforts by companies. The Connected Homes Call for Collaboration provides a platform for such innovation to take place. We hope the participating companies will leverage on the platform to develop inventive and novel Infocomm products and services for Connected Homes, pilot them in Singapore and take them beyond our shores.

The CFC will also provide an opportunity for companies to work together to strengthen each other's capabilities. Through the pilot, companies will be able to develop integrated solutions, gain better understanding of consumer behaviour and acquire the know-how that will help them market their offerings more successfully.

The pilot will also benefit Singaporeans. With solutions being developed and tested here, it will help ensure that solutions will be customised to the Asian market and allow users to be part of the product development process. Singaporeans will be exposed to new products and technologies that in turn will make them more sophisticated ICT users.

Benefits to the Infocomm Industry & Singapore

So, what are some benefits we hope to derive from this CFC?

As a result of the CFC, we will see about 30 new applications and services developed for the Connected Homes. We are also happy to have two overseas companies, LG CNS and Portus, that had already set-up their offices in Singapore and will be creating about 40 new job positions to develop and pilot their solutions here.

Secondly, besides technology transfer and capability development, we hope that companies will be able to tap on each other's business network and reach out to a wider market. The solutions developed can then be exported rapidly through their network.

In addition to that, more than 400 families in Singapore will have the opportunity to experience a connected home through the trial, and discover how it can enhance their lives. They will be the first to try out the new applications and services developed for the connected homes.

Digital Living Lab

Today, we will be awarding a total of 5 consortia. The consortia, comprising 32 international and local companies, will be working together to enhance their products and services for the market. Their proposals have demonstrated great potential and a high level of innovation and their participation in the pilot will help strengthen Singapore's position as a Digital Living Lab for emerging technologies.

I wish all the consortia success in their projects. Thank you.


1AC Nielsen, commissioned by IDA Singapore, April 2002
2 The Digital Domicile: The Exploding Market for Home Networking Technology and Services by Cahners In-Stat Group, September 2001.
3 Survey on Infocomm usage in Household 2001, IDA Singapore
4 Survey on Broadband Usage in Singapore 2001, IDA Singapore.