Marketing grants for wireless

5 Singapore companies are awarded grants from HP and Intel to beef up marketing spending for wireless solutions.

SINGAPORE - 5 local companies will receive a total of S$1 million as grants from Hewlett-Packard and Intel to launch and market their wireless Internet solutions.

The 5 are picked from a number of HP partners from the Mobile E-service Bazaar (Bazaar), comprising a mix of applications and solutions that are available for commercial use over the wireless.

The M2M (Mobile-to-Market) grant was announced last week in Singapore. Kelvin Tan, the director of Mobile E-service Bazaar Asia Pacific, Hewlett-Packard, and Ian Drew, country manager, Singapore, Intel Technology Asia, were on hand to make the announcement along with representatives from the five companies.

The wireless market is an exploding one. A fact not lost on HP and Intel.

According to industry studies, wireless appliances are expected to outstrip pc by the year 2002. An IDC report predicts wireless devices to reach over 150 million units worldwide by 2004. And data, instead of voice, is expected to be the predominant transmission over the channels by 2003.

The stage is set for wireless communication to become an integral part of the digital economy.

What is missing is application--digital commands written to make a cell or palm communicate and perform automated tasks over the wireless Internet.

Enter the HP/Intel grant, to speed up the time for these 5 application providers to reach the market with their products.

"Wireless Internet has emerged as the hottest Internet technology today, but what it lacks now is killer applications," said Tan. "HP is doubling its efforts to give a boost to companies which have mobile killer applications to launch."

The grant will go mainly to the companies' marketing activities, and will make up as much as 85% of each company's marketing campaign spending.

One company, Silk Technologies, which produces business solutions including a sales-force management services, already has plans to take its products on the road-to K.L., Beijing and Shanghai in November this year.

"The Bazaar offers us the technical facilities for us to test our solutions," said P T Ong, chairman of Silk Technologies, "now, with the M2M grant, we are able to increase awareness of wireless technology among our target users."

The five companies who are awarded the grant are Airgateway.com, inTouch Wireless Service, Orange Gum, Silk Technologies and Finesse Alliance.

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