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UWB Regulatory Framework To Pave The Way For A Host Of New Devices And Applications

24 September 2007 - Opening Remarks By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive / Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At The Industry Briefing on Singapore's Proposed UWB Regulatory Framework, Marina Mandarin.

Opening Remarks By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive / Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At The Industry Briefing On Singapore's Proposed UWB Regulatory Framework on 24 September 2007, Marina Mandarin.

1. A very good morning to our distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

2. Thank you for taking time to join us today. It is heartening to note such a strong interest in a relatively new technology like Ultra-Wide Band, or UWB. According to the latest report from market research firm In-Stat, UWB sales will surpass Wi-Fi's volume in the near future. It had also estimated that about 300 million UWB chipsets will be sold by 2011, and desktop and laptop PCs are expected to be the largest volume market for these chipsets.

3. As you know, UWB has three key qualities that will make it particularly suited for a host of devices and applications. Firstly, it can transmit data at very high rates of up to 480 Mbps. That is a few hundred times faster than is possible with Bluetooth technology today. Secondly, it can do so at very low power. This means your device's battery can last longer. Thirdly, as the UWB chip is small and can be easily made, its cost is expected to be low. Such qualities suggest that it can be easily fitted into many of today's popular devices such as your digital cameras, mobile phones and laptops. It has also even been used for road safety, with some car manufacturers outfitting their vehicles with UWB anti-collision systems.

4. Singapore recognised the potential of UWB as early as 2003, and the IDA has been supporting UWB compatibility studies and trials since. With UWB gaining global traction, I'm happy to share that the IDA has drafted a regulatory framework that will enable new playing fields for this nascent technology. We believe that you, the industry, will take the lead in exploring and growing the use of UWB technology. We look forward to collaborating with you to make our UWB ecosystem as vibrant as possible.

5. The UWB regulatory framework would pave the way for the entry and use of such devices. A world of possibilities await, as UWB players who are keen to establish or strengthen their presence in Singapore, can develop cutting-edge applications, engage in R&D, and develop products and solutions for the region and beyond. One of them, NXP Semiconductors (an independent company, founded by Philips), recently announced that it will expand its presence in Singapore. It is investing more than 90 million euros over the next five years for wireless USB technology development. Moving forward, I believe our Singapore-based infocomm companies can also learn and benefit from UWB's potential.

6. IDA's UWB regulatory framework, when in place later this year, aims to remove undue barriers to any technology innovation. This is so that we can open up new avenues of growth, and maximise the utility of our limited spectrum resources. In developing the UWB regulatory framework, IDA strives to balance facilitating adoption of this emerging technology with the need to ensure that it does not interfere or disrupt existing radio-communication services. As such, a set of technical specifications and operating conditions for UWB devices has been defined, to be aligned with international standards such as those set by Europe's Electronic Communications Committee. UWB devices that comply with IDA's technical specifications and emission limits will be exempted from licensing. This will allow keen industry players to develop and commercialise UWB devices with greater ease.

7. The framework can signal to foreign UWB companies that they can come here, assured that there is strong support for the promotion of this new technology. We want to encourage Singapore-based companies to consider partnering with such global technology providers to advance this market.

8. My colleague, Mr Lim Choon Sai, will next be sharing with you more details on Singapore's upcoming UWB regulatory framework. You will also get to see later, some state-of-the-art product demonstrations. I hope you'll be inspired from there, to ride on this UWB wave together.

9. Thank you.

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