Files patent for wireless broadband roaming framework


Singapore, 23 July 2003 - StarHub, Singapore's leading info-communication provider today announced it will participate in three initiatives launched by the Wireless Broadband Alliance ('Alliance') to open access and enhance user experience for wireless broadband users here. The Alliance is the largest alliance of wireless operators in the world, it aims to drive the adoption of wireless broadband technology and services around the world by developing a common commercial, technical and marketing framework.


The three initiatives are:

  • To display the Alliance's international brand identity at StarHub's wireless hubs at Singapore Changi Airport and Suntec City;
  • To integrate a Singapore-developed 'Wireless Broadband Roaming Control Panel' into its hotspots to enhance user experience. The application is currently under patent processing.
  • To open access of its wireless hubs at Singapore Changi Airport and Suntec City to international roamers from Australia, China and Malaysia. In addition, StarHub wireless broadband users will be able to access hotspots from Australia's Telstra, China Netcom and Malaysia's Maxis at no additional charge.

"StarHub is delighted to be part of this global initiative, being a leader in Singapore for wireless broadband, mobile and residential broadband. We are in a unique position to provide value-add to the Alliance with regards to translating the benefits of a converged network to highly mobile business users," said Mr Kyong Yu, Senior Vice President of StarHub Interactive and Chairman of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.


1.  Building a common brand identity

In order to ensure wireless customers of member operators are aware of hotspots with cross-border wireless broadband roaming capabilities, a new logo has been introduced - a logo that embodies the shared vision of member partners. The logo will be displayed globally in major business locations such as hotels, airports, convention centres and other locations with high traffic flow.


The logo is designed to symbolise the delivery of wireless broadband services that is seamless, accessible, and simple to use for businesses and mobile warriors. The synergy between partners is reflected in the following values that the Alliance members share in:

  • Global Coverage;
  • Confidence in Quality;
  • Customer Experience; and
  • Reliability.

2.  Enhancing user experience

As one of the ways to enhance user experience, the Alliance is working towards developing standard login platforms that minimise the need for customers to learn new login interfaces of each foreign wireless operator. Developed in Singapore, the 'Wireless Broadband Roaming Control Panel' is one of the suggested programmes for member operators to implement within their home networks.


The 'Wireless Broadband Roaming Control Panel' - embedded in the login page - enables the 'home' interface of the travelling user to be shown, regardless of location. This will ensure that users are able to login and interact with an interface that they are comfortable and familiar with. In addition, this could allow members of the Alliance to automatically expand their wireless footprint to cover other hotspots managed by other operators. The 'Wireless Broadband Roaming Control Panel' is currently undergoing patent processing.


3.  Pilot trial for international wireless broadband roaming in four countries

The initial 'Wireless Broadband Roaming Control Panel' system will be tested by four member operators as the Alliance's pilot trial for international wireless broadband roaming kicks off in four countries. From today, wireless broadband customers from Australia's Telstra, China Netcom, Malaysia's Maxis Communications and Singapore's StarHub will be able to roam - at no additional charge - internationally to hundreds of wireless broadband hotspots under the Alliance. Korea Telecom (KT) is expected to participate in the pilot trial by the end of the year.


To use this service, customers will need to subscribe to a wireless broadband plan from the relevant operators. Their current operator's rates will continue to apply while using their operator's own hotspots . The use of a foreign operator's hotspot is currently free during the pilot trial.


The technical trial is expected to last until 30 October 2003 in order to obtain customer feedback for fine-tuning and further improvements before the commercial launch of international wireless broadband roaming services in the near future.


New Operators in the Wireless Broadband Alliance

The foregoing three initiatives are launched at a time when the Alliance welcomes three new members into its ranks. BT (UK), T-Mobile (UK) and T-Mobile (USA) join the Alliance to lend their knowledge and expertise towards the Alliance's goal of delivering consistent and quality wireless service standards globally. These new members will extend the Alliance's presence to North America and Europe.


Formed in March 2003, the Wireless Broadband Alliance was created to drive the adoption of wireless broadband technologies and services around the world by developing a common commercial, technical and marketing framework for wireless network interoperability. Its goal is to develop a global Alliance of wireless providers that can truly deliver services that users can trust. It aims to provide a good customer experience, security, reliability and true mobility for wireless broadband users worldwide.


The Wireless Broadband Alliance is formed by pioneers in the wireless broadband field, encompassing major players in the telecommunications industry as well as world-class equipment and service providers. These include BT (UK), China Netcom (China), KT (Korea), Maxis (Malaysia), StarHub (Singapore), T-Mobile (UK), Telstra (Australia), T-Mobile (UK) and T-Mobile (USA). Collectively, the Wireless Broadband Alliance operates over 13,000 wireless hotspots around the world.


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