CommunicAsia 2011 zooms in on broadband

update Next-gen communication technologies a key highlight at this year's mega ICT tradeshow, which boasts a new venue and more exhibitors, says organizer.

update Broadband will be a hot topic at this year's CommunicAsia tradeshow, according to organizer Singapore Exhibition Services (SES) which added the new event venue will provider visitors with an "integrated" experience.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, Victor Wong, SES' project director for communications events, said there is a lot of emphasis on broadband and next-generation infrastructure in CommunicAsia 2011 as many technologies have made the transition to Internet Protocol (IP).

Held over four days from Jun. 21, CommunicAsia is part of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX), an annual learning and procurement platform for ICT executives and professionals from around the world. Other events from imbX includes Broadcast Asia and EnterpriseIT.

According to Wong, there has been "very strong demand" this year to speak at the broadband summit of CommunicAsia. Conference attendees can look forward to hearing about business models for next-generation broadband, mobile broadband and broadband infrastructure, he said.

Among the speaker-delegates is Hamadoun Toure, the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He will be delivering a keynote address on next-generation broadband infrastructure.

On the CommunicAsia showfloor, satellite technology will also feature strongly, said Wong. While satellite has been linked to communications and military use in the past, many exhibitors in the satellite cluster this year will be featuring how satellite services can be used in entertainment such as for content delivery as well as in times of disaster.

To reflect popular topics in the industry, the exhibition will feature five tech zones: fiber for next-gen services, next-gen services and applications, OEM/ODM (original equipment manufacturer/original design manufacturer) in action, sustainable ICT and cloud computing, said Wong. The defined tech zones will allow visitors to "zoom in" on products they are interested in, he added.

Mix of old and new
According to SES, the number of CommunicAsia exhibitors has increased by 7 percent compared to last year. This year's lineup of exhibitors include newcomers Fiberhome, Bharti Airtel, Tata Communications, AsiaSat, Conax, Vu Telepresence and Zynga as well as old timers Huawei, ZTE, CommScope, Research In Motion, NTT DoCoMo and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), said Wong.

Social game developer Zynga which will have a hospitality suite at the event is "looking forward" to its participation in CommunicAsia 2011. In an e-mail response to ZDNet Asia, David Ko, senior vice president of mobile for Zynga, said: "CommunicAsia is known for bringing together the best of the mobile industry and we are excited to be a part of the mix of established brands and rising influencers who participate in the conference."

"As the developer of the popular social games FarmVille, Words With Friends and Mafia Wars, Zynga strives to offer the best mobile social game experience for its players," he added. "Joining our counterparts at one of the biggest and well-known industry events such as CommunicAsia is a great prospect for us."

Another newcomer, regional satellite operator AsiaSat, plans to use CommunicAsia as a platform to meet clients and partners as well as introduce its satellite services and broadcast products to potential users, said a company executive. In an e-mail to ZDNet Asia, Sabrina Cubbon, vice president of sales and marketing at AsiaSat, added that the company also expects the event to help it stay current with trends and technologies across the broadcast and telecom industries.

Following several years of absence, the world's largest phonemaker Nokia makes a return to CommunicAsia this year. Wong said the organizer's "constant engagement" with Nokia was key to the Finnish phonemaker's decision to participate in the infocomm show.

"We never gave up. We had a lot of engagement and we also worked out a proposal--a package which is beneficial to both parties," he said.

However, Korean consumer electronics giants LG and Samsung have pulled out from this year's show. Wong explained that both companies had a "change in their marketing strategy this year"--for instance, Samsung had hosted an event in March in accordance to their product launch timeline.

That said, Wong maintained that SES enjoys a "good relationship" with both companies. "They've been to the show many years and we hope to convince them to come back and look forward to their participation."

In a Monday press briefing, Wong added that this year's event will be host to 26 country groups, including four new ones. Two of the newcomers are from Thailand--the Telecommunications Research and Industrial Development Institute (TRIDI) and the Association of Thai Software Industry (ATSI). The other new additions are represented by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and the Goyang Industry Promotion Agency (GIPA) from Korea.

This year, the Chinese pavilion boasts the largest number of exhibitors at more than 50, said Wong. The Zhongguancun group pavilion, he noted, is 150 percent bigger compared to last year.

Participation from Malaysia and Taiwan has also been encouraging, he shared. MCMC will return to CommunicAsia for the fourth time with a pavilion 29 percent bigger compared to 2010, while the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (TEEMA) is slated to increase its pavilion space by 22 percent.

New venue offers "integrated" experience
This year's CommunicAsia will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at Marina Bay Sands while BroadcastAsia will be held at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

According to Wong, the change in venue from last year's Singapore Expo, was driven by companies which wish to have a "more integrated approach" in exhibition. "It means they don't just want a booth. They want to speak and attend conferences and they want to meet their clients in hospitality suites," he explained in the earlier interview.

The new venues have adequate exhibition hall space as well as more food and beverage venues, hospitality suites and entertainment to chose from, he added.

SES expects total imbX exhibiting companies to number about 2,000, of which 81 percent of them are based overseas.


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