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Singapore Launches New Initiatives Under iN2015 Masterplan

17 June 2008 - Speech By Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister For Information, Communications And The Arts At The Official Opening Of imbX 2008 On 17 June 2008, 9:30am At The Singapore Expo

Speech By Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister For Information, Communications And The Arts At The Official Opening Of imbX 2008 On 17 June 2008, 9:30am At The Singapore Expo

Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning,

1. I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, participants, exhibitors and delegates to the Infocomm Media Business Exchange or imbX 2008.

2. This year, we are meeting amidst an uncertain global business outlook resulting from high oil prices and upheavals in the financial sector. Fortunately, the infocomm sector is relatively positive and optimistic. In Asia, China and India continue to be engines of infocomm growth. In Singapore, the infocomm sector registered a healthy revenue growth of 13.8 per cent to S$51.68 billion in 2007. Export revenue accounted for 65 per cent of total industry infocomm revenue with the top three destinations for Singapore infocomm exports being North Asia (including China), the Americas and Europe.

Broadband Defines the Internet

3. As a whole, the infocomm sector is vibrant and technologically dynamic. The arrival of broadband has been a powerful catalyst for innovation and demand. Broadband is what connects up people and what energises the Internet. It brings a new visual richness and multi-media experience to users.

4. Clearly, the demand for higher speed and higher bandwidth will continue. Services such as video on-demand, software-as-a-service, online gaming, user-generated content and even Internet protocol television, or IPTV, are riding on the growing pervasiveness of broadband connectivity. These services require high-speed broadband networks for proper delivery to consumers.

5. In a globalised environment, having a pervasive national broadband network has become more important for most countries in terms of growing the economy, enhancing international competitiveness and enriching the lives of its citizens. Hence globally, the number of broadband users has grown rapidly in recent years although there are differences in adoption rates among various countries.

Broadband Initiatives Under iN2015

6. Two years ago, Singapore launched our 10-year infocomm masterplan, Intelligent Nation 2015 or iN2015 in short, to harness the power of infocomm and add value to our economy and society. One of the targets is for 90 per cent of households in Singapore to be using broadband by 2015. Two years after iN2015, I am pleased to report that 82.5% of households have subscribed to broadband service. I am confident that we are well on our way to achieving 2015 broadband target.

7. Under the iN2015 masterplan, we are rolling out the Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure which will meet the growing demands of high speed connectivity and mobility. It has two components. First, under the Wireless@SG initiative, there are now some 850,000 subscribers in Singapore who use wireless connectivity at more than 7,200 hot spots, in public places like cafes, food courts and the community clubs. Users of Wireless@SG are each chalking up almost three hours every month on the network for a range of activities such as e-mailing, blogging and visiting social networking websites. Second, an entirely new ultra high-speed wired network is being planned. This will bring pervasive ultra high speed broadband connectivity to all homes, offices and institutions by 2015. The IDA is currently evaluating the formal bids from two consortia to build this Open Access and pervasive Next Gen NBN for Singapore.

Pay-Per-Use Next Gen Services on the National Grid

8. In anticipation of the NGNBN rollout, we are planning a Grid Market Hub to offer on-demand computing services from the National Grid. The Grid Market Hub will offer services to anyone, anytime and anywhere on a pay-per-use basis. Individuals and SMEs can gain access to a range of productivity tools on a pay-per-use basis. Three newly-appointed National Grid Service Providers will be offering such cost-effective and affordable computing services to businesses and individuals by the end of the year.

Impact of Broadband on the Media Sector

9. The range of Next Gen services will go beyond meeting end-user needs. The digital media and entertainment sector in Singapore will stand to benefit from the Next Gen connectivity. In 2006, this sector registered S$2.06 billion in digital business revenues registering annual growth rate of almost 14 per cent from the previous year. Enabled by infrastructure and sound policies, digital media businesses will find it attractive to hub, aggregate, trade and distribute digital media assets from and through Singapore.

10. We have witnessed remarkable developments in the digital media landscape, with new and innovative services leveraging the broadband network, being offered to consumers. There are currently seven commercial and trial video-on-demand and Internet Protocol TV, or IPTV, service providers offering more than 125 TV channels in Singapore. This includes SingTel's mioTV, an IPTV service launched last year, providing viewers access to about 40 local and overseas TV channels. Today I am pleased to announce that MediaCorp and StarHub have come together to make HD5 - MediaCorp's HD channel - available to all StarHub Digital Cable subscribers with the HD set-top box. Consumers can also expect a new web TV service, called Razor TV, from Singapore Press Holdings. It will be launched later this year.

11. These new developments in our media market reflect the strong interest in the digital media space. This is also an area which we are giving full support including funding for Interactive Digital Media (IDM) research & development. So far, 94 projects have been funded in 2007 which will deliver some 100 new innovative patents and products. These will in turn help nurture 900 researchers and engineers. We hope they will be the future drivers of our IDM enterprises.

Transacting Services through a Digital Marketplace

12. All these developments contribute to more buzz in the digital space. In addition, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Media Development Authority (MDA) will introduce several new initiatives this year. Firstly, IDA is launching a Digital Marketplace programme to develop a trusted and conducive environment for digital media businesses to hub, manage, distribute and trade digital media assets such as movies, video programmes, music and mobile content through and from Singapore.

13. IDA will initiate an industry roundtable comprising key local and global infocomm and media industry players to jointly develop Singapore's Digital Marketplace. We hope to attract major global media players to conduct business in Singapore, as well as to grow our capabilities within the Digital Marketplace ecosystem.

Digital Media Call for Proposals

14. Secondly, the Media Development Authority (MDA) will launch a Call for Digital Media Proposals to seek partners for digital media content such as Immersive Learning Media, Pervasive Media, Virtual and 3D Media, Digital Interactive Advertisements and Digital Hubs. MDA will support applications and content that have been developed or commercialised with viable business models, ready to be launched in the global market. It will help to position Singapore as a digital global node and regional hub for digital media assets.

Connected Games

15. Thirdly, we have identified the development and distribution of Connected Games as another area to grow the Digital Media and Entertainment industry. We will develop Singapore into a hub for game developers to deploy their products to the world market, as well as build an ecosystem to accelerate the development of Connected Games.

A Secure and Trusted Hub

16. Lastly, to enable the growth of online services and encourage greater usage, the provision of a secure and trusted environment is most critical. IDA will take the lead in developing a National Authentication Framework to create a trusted and conducive platform to access Next Gen Services. IDA will issue a call to the industry in the second half of this year (2008) to develop this nation-wide authentication framework and will invest S$20 million in this infocomm security initiative.


17. In conclusion, broadband offers immense opportunities. We are committed to working together with industry professionals and companies to leverage on new opportunities, to grow our infocomm and IDM sectors and to create more opportunities for everyone.

18. I hope that your participation and visits to imbX2008 will provide you with good business contacts as well as opportunities to learn about the latest in infocomm, media and broadcasting technologies.

19. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it now gives me great pleasure to declare imbX 2008 open. Thank you.

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