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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 7 March 2008

WiMAX access launched in Port of Singapore

Source: www.ida.gov.sg

First In The World: Wireless Mobile Wimax Access In Singapore's Seaport Now A Reality
 
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and QMax Communications Pte Ltd (QMax) have jointly set up and launched the WIreless-broadband-access for SEaPort, or WISEPORT, project. With the infrastructure in place ships can now enjoy wireless mobile broadband connectivity while operating in the Port of Singapore, up to 15km from Singapore’s southern coastline[1].
Aimed at enhancing the pro-enterprise environment for the maritime industry, WISEPORT is the first project to be launched under the Infocomm@SeaPort Programme - a three-year S$12 million joint initiative by the MPA and IDA to promote the use of infocomm technologies in the port and maritime community.
It leverages on the Mobile WiMAX wireless broadband network to benefit the industry in a variety of important ways. These include improving operational and business efficiencies, enhancing human communications and opening doors to new business opportunities that were previously hindered by high satellite communication costs.
Activities that had to be done onshore, such as regulatory filings, electronic data exchanges and access to Internet-based applications, can now be replicated offshore.
Since it was announced last September, shipyards and marine engineering companies, shipping lines, terminal operators, technology companies and government agencies have expressed interest to participate in the WISEPORT project. Among them are leading companies and organisations such as Shell, APL, Global Marine Transportation and Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI).
Commenting on the strong interest from the maritime community, Chief Executive of MPA, BG(NS) Tay Lim Heng, said, “We are very pleased with the interest and industry support for the WISEPORT project. WISEPORT will greatly enhance communications and operational efficiencies, as well as facilitate the development of new businesses. This strengthens the overall pro-enterprise environment of our maritime sector. The MPA will continue to partner the industry, as well as various maritime stakeholders, to develop and implement new initiatives to further Singapore’s growth as a global hub port and maritime centre.”
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of IDA said, “IDA’s collaboration with MPA and the industry innovatively uses infocomm to help the maritime community achieve even greater operational efficiency and higher service quality. With WISEPORT, Singapore is now the world’s first mobile WiMAX ready seaport. This builds on IDA’s iN2015 masterplan to use infocomm to transform key economic sectors in Singapore, while further strengthening the country’s position as a global transhipment hub.”
QMax is the appointed operator for the WISEPORT services. Over the past few months, QMax has been working with the MPA and IDA to finalise the project based on feedback from the maritime community. More than 250 accounts have been subscribed to, even before the official launch of WISEPORT. MPA, IDA and QMax will continue to work closely with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) to further reach out to the maritime community.
”With strong support from both academic and commercial entities such as the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, NUS’s Tropical Marine Science Institute, APL Pte Ltd and Shell, we are confident that our Wireless Broadband Service will be well received by the maritime industry. We have set an initial target of 500 maritime subscribers for the pilot year of the WISEPORT programme and to date we have already achieved half of our original target prior to the launch of this initiative,” said Alex Tan, Director of QMax.
QMax is offering free 512kbps unlimited data access plan during the first year of the WISEPORT launch. Subscribers to this special package will each receive a thumbdrive-sized WiMAX modem which can be used to access wireless broadband anywhere from the southern port waters and offshore islands to mainland Singapore (currently limited to coastal areas such as Tuas, Jurong, Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar).
JOINTLY ISSUED BY THE MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE, INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE & QMAX
[1] The WiMAX network coverage stretches from the southern coast of Singapore to the port water limits. Four maritime hotspots have been set up at the sites where there are intensive maritime activities, including Tuas, Jurong, Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar. For these sites, WiMAX coverage is provided within the container terminals, oil terminals and shipyards. Under the project, at least six WiMAX base stations will be set up, with each having an estimated range of up to 15km.

Source: www.ida.gov.sg Media Release 6 Mar 2008

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