Partnership to Encourage Greater Wireless Broadband Adoption;
Up to 20,000 Hotspots Expected to be Linked by Year's End
Asia-Pacific, 20 March 2003 - Five major telecommunication companies have teamed up to form the world's first and largest Wireless Broadband Alliance (WiFi/WLAN). They are Korea Telecom (Korea), China Netcom (China), Maxis (Malaysia), StarHub (Singapore) and Telstra (Australia).
Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed today, the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WiFi/WLAN) will work towards
- Driving wireless broadband services adoption by collectively encouraging increased usage of wireless broadband services amongst the frequent business travellers;
- Establishing a recognised Alliance brand with Quality of Service (QoS) and standards of service to help deliver a consistent wireless broadband experience to the users;
- Creating additional opportunities for extended cooperation between the members for leveraging cross-network services (e.g. mobile GPRS, fixed broadband services) for service differentiation.
8,600 Hotspots Across Five Countries
With this Alliance, business travellers who need to stay connected to the Internet while away from office and home, will now find it easier to enjoy wireless broadband services in many international airports, major business hubs, hotels, cafes and other locations. As of today, member operators have collectively rolled out wireless broadband services to more than 8,600 locations including 17 international airports in five countries. By the end of this year, wireless hotspots managed by all member operators will expand to over 20,000 locations.
The Alliance is envisioned as a forum to facilitate marketing co-operation between member operators with shared mutual interest in advancing wireless broadband service adoption. Alliance members will team up collectively to offer greater benefits and enhanced experience through differentiated services to the wireless broadband user. Three workgroups have been formed to resolve critical issues in wireless broadband adoption. These workgroups are -
- Business Development Workgroup - to develop bilateral/multilateral commercial frameworks that can be applied throughout the world;
- Co-Marketing Workgroup - to develop a consistent brand and to generate awareness of wireless broadband benefits to potential customers. A common Alliance 'brand' will make it easy for wireless broadband users to locate and identify the various wireless broadband hotspots available from member operators; and
- Service Delivery Workgroup - to establish and support current and upcoming technological / interoperability issues in wireless broadband so that all current and future hotspots managed by Alliance members perform on a uniform platform.
In addition, members will offer special privileges to each others' customers, and explore cross-marketing opportunities that will allow customers to enjoy other telecom and ISP services needed by business travellers.
Cross-Border Wireless Broadband Roaming Capabilities
One of the key initiatives that the Alliance will work towards is a commercial and technical solution to facilitate seamless roaming across networks to deliver a uniform and consistent wireless broadband service experience for all operators' customers.
A pilot project to establish inter-operator roaming will be rolled out by the end of July 2003. Once the roaming between Alliance members is fully operational, this will expand customers' choice of location for wireless broadband access to over 20,000 hotspots.
Extending Alliance Presence Across The World
With the rapid proliferation of wireless broadband hotspots around the world, the Alliance is expected to extend its presence to other countries. The Alliance is already in active discussion with other major operators who have expressed interest in joining the Alliance in the near future.
For more information on the Alliance, please contact Shrikant Shenwai, Alliance Secretariat at HP: 9859 0702 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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" Korea Telecom (KT) is the predominant wireless broadband (WLAN) service provider in the world with over 150,000 subscribers and we clearly view our NESPOT Services as a KT strategic service. With our participation in this global alliance, we hope to accelerate the popularity of wireless broadband subscriber internationally through co-working and co-marketing. This alliance is set to become the international standard for wireless operators to deliver seamless, uniform wireless broadband services that span across the globe. KT Corporation likes to express our hearty thanks to all of the member involved in the alliance."
Dr Won-Sik Hahn
" This alliance is a good effort to the development of the global wireless broadband market, which provides both our companies and customers with reciprocal opportunities. We forecast substantial growth in the wireless broadband market, and believe that a focus on quality of services is vital to future success. CNC is delighted to be part of this alliance. With the alliance, we will help our customers to access information quickly and safely, especially in today's competitive business environment. CNC take this as a positive effort to step in the WiFi market around the world."
Mr. Richard Xu
Enterprise and Data Service Business Unit
China Netcom Corporation Ltd.
"We are excited about this alliance which further enhances the mobility of our customers, enabling them to stay connected at over 8,500 hotspots. Understanding our customers' needs and providing positive customer experience are our hallmarks, and we look forward to enhance this service and extend it to more locations globally for the benefit of Maxis' and our alliance partners' customers. With this inter-operator WiFi alliance, there are many opportunities for us to create new initiatives and learn from each other in this area. This alliance is a positive step for the telecommunications industry in the region."
Mr Darke M. Sani
Senior General Manager &
Head of Enterprise Business Division
Maxis Communication Berhad
" StarHub is delighted to be part of this marketing alliance, having established in February this year a similar marketing and roaming alliance in Singapore. Wireless broadband is extremely exciting in that the IEEE802.11b standard is used throughout the world. Corporate travellers and mobile users are already using WLAN extensively. Now, they can do so seamlessly throughout the world, in airports, hotels, exhibition-convention centres and food & beverage outlets where hubbing occurs."
Mr Kyong Yu
Senior Vice President
"Telstra sees WiFi as a key growth opportunity and this agreement will ensure our customers receive a similar high quality wireless broadband service when they travel throughout the region as they will in Australia. This alliance has been formed in the early stages of the burgeoning WiFi market in realisation of the need to quickly deliver superior coverage in the types of locations that users want. Our ability to deliver a secure and reliable wireless broadband experience, initially in five different countries, will ensure that Telstra is in a position to offer the most compelling product in the Australian market. "
Mr Ted Pretty
Group Managing Director
Telstra Consumer and Marketing
Telstra Corporation Limited