Optimism fuels convergence of technologies

by Elaine Ng, exclusive to ZDNetAsia Singapore, 5 June 2000 -- CommunicAsia2000, Asia's largest communications event for the industry, is being held from 7 to 9 June at the Singapore Expo. This year, more than 2000 telecommunications, IT and broadcasting companies from 56 countries have come together to showcase their latest technology at the Expo.

by Elaine Ng, exclusive to ZDNetAsia

Singapore, 5 June 2000 -- CommunicAsia2000, Asia's largest communications event for the industry, is being held from 7 to 9 June at the Singapore Expo.

This year, more than 2000 telecommunications, IT and broadcasting companies from 56 countries have come together to showcase their latest technology at the Expo.
Projected growth by the IMF World Economic Outlook indicate a seven per cent growth in China, seven per cent in South Korea, 6.2 per cent in Taiwan, six per cent in Hong Kong, and 5.9 per cent in Singapore. With strong economic projections in Asia, the event is expected to draw record numbers of participants. Filling all six halls of the Singapore Expo, the show occupies no less than 68,000 square metres of exhibition space (equivalent to 55 Olympic size pools).

The convergence of the telephony, television and internet industries poses new challenges to players in the business of communication. These challenges were made possible by rapid economic growth forecasts in Asia.

Not only have convergent technologies and positive economic outlook been the impetus for industry players at this year's event, a surge in the number of mergers, acquisitions and alliances in the like of the AOL-Time Warner merger, C&W HKT and Pacific Century Cyberworks, is also the leading voice for the industry.

The message is clear -- the advent of third generation (3G) technology has blurred the boundaries between telecommunications and computing. 3G wireless mobile communications which promises high-speed access to internet services, transmission of data as well as videos and pictures using digital technology will leads the way in communication devices.

These trends are delivered by participants in CommunicAsia2000, which is held concurrently with MobileCommAsia2000, NetworkAsia2000, eBiz2000, BroadcastAsia2000, CableSat2000, and Professional Audio Technology2000. The event has specialised components on mobile communications, networking, e-commerce, broadcasting technologies and cable and satellite innovations.

Businesses on the e-warpath
A new feature at this year's event is eBiz2000, a specialised showcase on electronic commerce, internet business applications and solutions. The eBiz Feature Pavilion highlights the convergence of wireless and internet infrastructure, showing the way for an emerging wireless internet world. The rise of dot.com companies, despite their size, were key to the growth of e-business in asia.

Mr. Montgomery Hong, Senior Partner, Anderson Consulting acknowledged that the internet is changing the global marketplace. Mobile communication will be a major factor for business. This is becaouse mobile commerce will alone generate US$12.5 billion.

This figure is slated to grow some 3 to 4 times over the next three years. The reason being, mobile communications are easy to use. This trend is obvious considering that the growth in consumer demand for mobile handsets with WAP based technologies has far outstripped that of PCs.

Star Trek Technology?
Mr Johan Akesson from Ericsson, indicated that the next version of the Bluetooth technology has arrived. Bluetooth wireless technology, which enables diverse mobile electronic devices to interconnect, will be releasing a new version providing more functions and services. This version with increased performance will also be backward compatible with the Bluetooth's version 1.0. Initially launched by some nine promoter companies, it is now adopted by about 2000 others.

Apart from the waves made by Bluetooth Technology, key industry players making the largest presence at the event include Lucent, Nortel Networks, Alcatel, Nokia, Ericsson, Marconi, Motorola, Panasonic, RSA Security, Sun Microsystems, Samsung, Siemens, NTT DoCoMo, Philips, Huawei and others.

The CommunicAsia2000 summit will also feature specialist conferences and workshops. MobileCommAsia Specialist Conference will be held together with eBiz Specialist Conference & Workshops and NetworkAsia Specialist Conference on 7-8 June. The Asia Pacific Satellite Communications Specialist Conference will be held between 8-9 June. Seminars on next generation technology, such as Bluetooth will also be held concurrently.

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