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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 19 June 2007

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Update on growth of Infocomm industry in Singapore



An Excerpt

In Singapore, we are also witnessing healthy growth.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore¡¯s (IDA) Annual Survey on Infocomm Industry shows that in 2006, the total revenue for our infocomm industry shot up almost 20% to S$45.4 billion (US$29.5 billion).
The strong performance was driven by healthy growth in our export market. The export market accounted for some S$29 billion compared to S$22 billion in 2005 while the domestic market accounted for S$16.4 billion compared to S$15.8 billion in 2005.
The global growth of the infocomm industry is also supported by the increasing adoption and usage of ICT among governments, businesses and consumers.
In Singapore, the government is leading by example in the adoption of ICT. Hence we have rolled out extensive e-government services and solutions and today we offer about 1,600 e-government services for always-on easily accessible services to Singaporeans. Our effort in this area has been noted.
The latest Accenture¡¯s study on government customer service including e-government across 22 countries has placed Singapore at the top.
The results of this study was released just yesterday with Accenture saying that Singapore¡¯s winning edge can be attributed to Singapore¡¯s ¡°innovative approaches to proactively engage with its customers¡±. I believe that our extensive use of ICT and e-government solutions had contributed to our top placing.
iN2015 Enables Usage and Innovation
Last year, I told you about Singapore¡¯s ICT Masterplan iN2015. Since then, a number of programmes and initiatives had been rolled out collectively by the government and industry to implement the iN2015 Masterplan.
From the infrastructure angle, we are well into the process of developing a secure and trusted next generation ICT network. This network with wired and wireless components will enable broadband internet access anytime and anywhere.
The Wireless@SG programme has already been implemented. Today we have more than 3,400 wireless hot spots in Singapore with another 1,600 being added by this September. Already about 430,000 people have signed up to enjoy the free wireless broadband access around the island.
For the wired component, twelve companies and consortia have been pre-qualified to build Singapore¡¯s Next Generation National Broadband Network. When it is ready in 2012, this network will be capable of speeds of at least 1 Gigabits per second and of supporting bandwidth-intensive applications decades into the future.
The ultra high speed network will also propel the research and development of innovative applications and solutions for both business users and consumers.
For instance, our Ministry of Education had launched the FutureSchools@Singapore programme. Five schools had been selected to leverage on digital technology for a more enriching and inspiring education experience. Students will experience immersive virtual environments and customised educational games for more engaged learning.
I am happy to announce that we will also launch a new pilot service today at imbX 2007. This is the Digital Concierge. It is a joint programme by the IDA and the Singapore Tourism Board.
Through the Digital Concierge, we will offer visitors handy personalised and location-based services accessible via mobile devices such as handphones.
Users can obtain a variety of information such as recommendations of interesting places to visit, where to eat and what to do. Singaporeans will also be able to discover many more interesting and exciting aspects of Singapore.
When fully implemented next year, the Digital Concierge will support Singapore¡¯s Tourism 2015 goal of increasing visitor arrivals and tourism receipts to 17 million and S$30 billion respectively...
Interactive Digital Media (IDM)
Last year, the Singapore Government committed half a billion dollars to fund R&D in Interactive Digital Media. We have identified IDM as a growth sector which has the potential to make significant contribution to the Singapore economy.
We will create a vibrant and sustainable eco-system to inspire and spark off many creative ideas and innovations in IDM so as to turn Singapore into an important IDM hub.
Some early initiatives included the establishment of Singapore-MIT game lab called GAMBIT, an acronym for Gamers, Aesthetics, Mechanics, Business, Innovation, Technology.
Currently, 31 of our brightest students are already at work at MIT in GAMBIT designing and building games and learning how to optimise and manage the creative process of game construction.
Last month, we launched a programme to fund creative individuals and start-ups in the IDM sector. It has already attracted some 50 project proposals including some which are certainly very interesting and had great potential. In addition, dozen of companies, both local and multinational, have embarked on innovative IDM projects in Singapore as well.
Digital Broadcasting
On the digital broadcasting front, Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to introduce High-Definition TV or HDTV trials last year.
Our early adoption of the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standard has led to commercialisation on the cable platform in January 2007. Commercial HDTV services will soon be available through Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) with free-to-air terrestrial likely to follow soon after.

Full Text of Speech

Source: Media Release 19 Jun 2007

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