(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Companies Expand Cellular, Internet Services in Singapore
August 28, 1998 (SINGAPORE) -- Singapore's telecommunications carriers
and Internet service providers announced fresh rounds of expansion plans
despite the economic crisis in southeast Asia.
|MobileOne Singapore Pte. Ltd. said it will invest S$80 million to expand
its GSM network while Cyberway Pte. Ltd., an ISP, is expected to become
the first vendor here to provider satellite links to the Internet.
Also, WorldCom Inc. said it will make Singapore a regional telecom hub.
It will establish a regional unit, CompuServe Network Services, in the
MobileOne, a joint venture between two Singapore conglomerates, Cable
& Wireless and Hong Kong Telecom, said it signed a deal with Nokia to
expand its GSM network to support 300,000 additional cellular phone
users. With the new investment, the company's total investment to date
reaches S$210 million (US$118 million).
Nokia will provide a high-capacity mobile switching system, several large-capacity
base station controllers, an additional home location register, macro
and indoor base stations as well as test equipment for MobileOne's main
MobileOne said that high-speed circuit switched data will be introduced
to allow increases in speed of up to 57.6kbps, compared with the 9.6kbps
currently available through most other networks in the country.
Cyberway, which is a part of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. and which
owns a stake in MobileOne, said it has completed six months of trials
for Singapore's first Internet access via satellite. After investing
almost S$750,000, Cyberway said it will soon be able to offer enhanced
bandwidth to subscribers at minimal cost.
All ISPs in Singapore are connected to the United States and the Internet
via the Singapore Telecoms Internet Exchange, which is owned by the
national telephone company.
This connection, a T3 line, provides 45Mbps of bandwidth and is equally
divided among Singapore's three ISPs.
"Since half the world's Web sites are in the United States, the traffic
coming into Singapore is often fully used for any ISP. The traffic from
Singapore, however, is often underutilized," said general manager Cheah
Cyberway addressed this by connecting to the United States via satellite,
in addition to the regular T3 link via Singapore Telecom. The company
will now receive an additional 2Mbps of traffic from the United States
at half the cost it would have taken to set up an equivalent link via
land lines, Cheah said.
"With this new satellite link, Cyberway's bandwidth from the United States
would be 17Mbps, and 15Mbps to the United States. The deal we have worked
out also allows us to buy additional bandwidth to the United States
at very attractive costs, all the way up to 45Mbps," he said.
Meanwhile, CompuServe Network Services has established a Singapore subsidiary
with plans to expand into Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines
within the next 12 to 18 months. Initially, the company will offer its
56kbps dial, ISDN, X.25 and frame relay services in Singapore, said
Dan Williams, international marketing director.
The aim of the Singapore office is to allow international companies to
conduct their business easily and efficiently by connecting their offices
in Singapore to corporate intranets, local area networks and their other
offices around the world.
(Joseph Rajendran, Asia BizTech Correspondent)