StarHub Further Strengthens Lead in Wireless Internet Solutions


Singapore, 23 May 2000 -- In a technological collaboration announced today, info-communications leaders StarHub and Nokia have committed to jointly develop Third Generation (3G) mobile network solutions. This marks the first such agreement in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan). As a result, consumers in the new wireless communications age can look forward to more rapid deployment of technologies that enable mobile activities such as video on demand, sending electronic postcards, multimedia entertainment, access to corporate LANs and intranets, and video conferencing – all interactively and in real-time.


The first hands-on opportunity for consumers to experience the 3G future will take place during a demo at the StarHub and Nokia booths at CommunicAsia 2000, being held 6-9 June at the Singapore Expo, Changi (booths #6B1-01 & #4B2-01 respectively).


While all 3G services developed by StarHub and Nokia are subject to government approval, licensing and spectrum allocation, the companies intend to accelerate the implementation of Asia’s first complete 3G network. This includes the implementation of advanced WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) 3G core and radio access network equipment to complement StarHub’s current GSM network.


This co-operation will enable StarHub to deliver on its commitment to providing Internet Protocol (IP) solutions on its 3G core networks – to both corporate customers and consumers. The level of investment by StarHub is also subject to the completion of licensing by the Singapore government, but a project of this magnitude could be expected to involve investments of up to S$500 million.


Said Mr Terry Clontz, CEO of StarHub, "Most other operators today are only just committing to building GPRS capability, or 2.5G as it’s called. StarHub will not only launch GPRS, but our vision extends well beyond this year’s technology."


The 3G technology will enable faster information access from mobile devices, increasing the speed up to 2Mbit/s – 200 times faster than current mobile networks allow. This speed will enable the creation of new mobile multimedia and personal services based upon the convergence of mobile technology and the Internet.


"At StarHub, we have a passion for innovation - to constantly challenge the possibilities of technology and translate innovations into real benefits for our customers," added Mr Clontz. "In choosing Nokia's advanced solutions for future 3G services, we hugely enhance today’s mobile-Internet access with high speeds and interactive audio-visual capabilities, enhancing access to information related to banking, entertainment, news and directories."


"We are delighted to sign this deal with an innovative operator such as StarHub. With this announcement Nokia continues to break new ground as we head towards the 3G age," says JT Bergqvist, Head of 3G Business Program, Nokia Networks. "Our leading position in 3G today is a clear proof of the competitiveness of our 3G solution and gives us full confidence in preparing for the Mobile Information Society."


StarHub plans to leverage on Nokia’s expertise to integrate and develop end-user applications for StarHub's operations in Singapore. Nokia will provide not only the 3G system but also the GPRS system, which is targeted to go on trial at the end of this year. Tentative plans are to put the 3G system and its applications on trial towards the end of 2001. After which, StarHub will launch full commercial 3G services.