The first IT Roadmap pinpoints broadband and mobile wireless
as key technologies for the next 5 years
by Samuel Quek
SINGAPORE, 24 July 2000 - The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has released the nation's first ever IT roadmap, in an effort to chart the direction of technology trends in Singapore for the next 5 years.
Led by IDA, the roadmap is a collaborative effort involving vendors, service providers, system integrators and research institutes in Singapore.
The roadmap will be updated twice a year, according to IDA, who believes that the roadmap will help Singapore's IT industry players to map business strategies in accordance and relation to worldwide and local developments.
Broadband grows broader
IDA projects the increase in pervasiveness of broadband technologies, in homes, workplaces, schools or on the move.
An increase in technologies like xDSL, cable modems, fired wireless and optical access networks is projected for fixed-site users.
Mobile users can expect operators to head towards 3G networks and offer increased data rates of up to 2Mbps by 2005, with extensive reseach and development into 4G networks.
IDA pointed out that it though the proliferation of such technologies was likely to increase, no single technology would be dominant - each would have a significant market share, catering to different user segments.
However, both xDSL and cable technologies have weaknesses, DSL being distance-dependent, and cable doesn't scale easily in terms of bandwidth given its shared nature. Broadband satellite is not likely to be popular in urban Singapore, as well as being late to market.
New kids on the block
One of the new technologies that are expected to make an impact include Very High Bit-Rate DSL (VDSL), which can support asymmetrical rates of up to 26Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream, and symmetrical rates up to 13Mbps.
Terrestial fixed wireless networks, such as LMDS, are also expected to penetrate the market.
LMDS, or Local Multipoint Distribution Service, allows for data to be transferred from building to building at high speeds without wires. LMDS stations are placed at the tops of buildings, and exchange data with other LMDS stations, each substation capable of transmitting between 10 to 20 Mbps of data.
IDA estimates that there will be a total of about 2.2 million users in Singapore by 2005, a 1100% growth from the 0.2 million broadband users today.
A complete copy of the IDA Infocomm roadmap is available via email upon filling in a form here.