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IDA Gives Wireless Innovation A Boost

19 January 2005 - Keynote Speech By Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the Launch of Intel Centrino Mobile Technology.

Keynote Speech By Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the Launch of Intel Centrino Mobile Technology on 19 January 2005.

Mr Chak Wong, Director of Marketing, Asia Pacific Intel Corporation,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning to you.


1. It is indeed my pleasure to be here and let me begin by congratulating Intel on the launch of the next generation Centrino Mobile Technology platform. I am happy to note that this new platform aims to deliver an even greater value on mobility to consumers and businesses, by enabling a longer battery life, integrated 802.11 a/b/g WLAN support and security enhancements.

The Outlook Today

2. The emergence of wireless in the mid-80s cut through the landline framework that had defined telecommunications for more than a century. Nothing has been the same since. In the last twenty years, wireless communication technologies have seen a revolution and its impact on our lives is felt by each and every one of us here in this room. Mobile phones are no longer just mere voice-call devices, but evolved gadgets that provide information, take pictures, record videos and double up as game machines. PDAs and laptops manage your diary, allow you to surf the Internet and access your emails while on the go. Imagine what it would be like if you don't have your mobile or wireless phone, PDA or laptop even for one day?

Interworking to Maximise Wireless Coverage

3. IDA's wireless vision for Singapore is to provide always-on, anywhere, anytime connectivity islandwide through our cellular network provided by GPRS and now further enhanced by the newly rolled out 3G. For users who require higher data throughput access, there are more than 600 public WLAN hotspots in cafes, libraries and fast food outlets nationwide. This translates into approximately one wireless hotspot located within every square kilometre of land space in Singapore.

4. Coupled with this development in infrastructure, IDA has also put in place various other measures to help realise a vision of island-wide mobile connectivity. IDA plans to allocate the 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz frequency bands for wireless broadband deployment in Singapore. IDA will soon disclose details of how these two frequency bands will be allocated, within the first quarter of this year. In July last year, we also made available a market trial framework which allows companies to test out commercially, various innovative business models and new technologies like wireless broadband.

5. Today, I'd like to announce that IDA has increased the power output limits for the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands to facilitate the deployment of wireless LAN and wireless broadband systems respectively. The WLAN power limit at the 2.4 GHz frequency band has been increased from 100mW to 200mW. As for the 5.8 GHz frequency band, the power limit has been raised from 100mW to 1W, licence-exempt and 4 W for licensed use. By doing so, companies can achieve WLAN coverage over a wide area using less number of equipment. This makes it cheaper and easier for companies to set up their enterprise wireless networks. Not only is this move in line with IDA's objectives of promoting the adoption and development of broadband access technologies in Singapore, it is also consistent with world trends.

6. Cellular networks aside, the longer term vision for IDA is not to rely on one single broadband technology to provide high-speed internet access across the island. We are instead encouraging the development of relevant middleware and roaming applications that will enable inter-working between existing networks, such as WLAN and GPRS, and with the new networks such as wireless broadband. This will enable users to choose the best network, whether in terms of bandwidth or cost, for connections at any particular time. Ultimately, inter-working will allow consumers to have a single converged device for their communication needs, instead of a device for every network or purpose.

7. To jumpstart seamless wireless roaming, the IDA-Intel Interworking Initiative completed the validation of the Public Wireless LAN Inter-working Architecture with 14 participating operators and technology providers in September last year. To further promote interworking, IDA encourages industry players to advance efforts by moving beyond the lab environment to conduct commercial pilots of the validated architecture. Currently, we are also embarking on inter-working tests between emerging standards-based networks like WLAN and 3G. In addition, we also hope to encourage more industry-led research and product development in interworking technologies in Singapore that cover the whole spectrum of capabilities, be it at the network, the device ends or in authentication methods.

The Working Living Lab - Nurturing the Local Wireless Industry

8. IDA is in a unique position in that it has to play both the regulators role as well as that of industry promoter. In order to achieve the development of the local wireless industry, IDA has always been adopting an integrated approach through its pro-business policies and industry development programmes.

9. Aside from the allocation of dedicated spectrum bands for trials and commercial deployment of wireless broadband, other pro-business policies include the recent announcement on the change in policy on Differentiated Pricing for Intra- and Inter-network mobile calls. This change in pricing policy will provide operators with more flexibility in pricing service packages.

10. One of the ultimate aims of IDA's industry development programs is to fuel innovation through collaborative efforts. The IDA-Intel Interworking initiative is testament to this and we are now looking to set the standards for global seamless connectivity.

11. Innovation and collaboration are key factors for bringing the wireless industry to the next level. It is this innovative spirit that has led to the development of the Intel Centrino Mobile Technology. Such resourcefulness and spirit is something that I would like to see more of here in Singapore. We at IDA, will continue to foster and develop the local wireless industry and further promote interworking to realise our vision and ultimately propel Singapore to the global forefront of mobile wireless connectivity.


12. On this note, I would like to wish Intel all the best and every success in the launch.

13. Thank you.