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Singapore ships to go wireless at sea by 2008

Posted: 28 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiMAX? seaport network? infocomm? wireless broadband network?

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) have partnered to launch a project that aims to provide all ships in Singapore access to mobile wireless broadband by early 2008.

Dubbed WISEPORT, or WIreless-broadband-access for SEaPORT, the initiative is aimed to allow real-time and data-intensive communications between ships and their customers and business partners via WiMAX technology. WISEPORT is one of the initial projects under the Infocomm@SeaPort programme of MPA and IDA, which aims to provide mobile low-cost, high-bandwidth and secure wireless broadband network within 15km from Singapore's southern coastline.

The two agencies will jointly set aside S$12 million for the Infocomm@SeaPort programme.

Several initial projects have already been identified under the program. Through the deployment of new services using infocomm, the projects will enhance communications in the port community, improve operations management and increase the port community's handling capacity. Other projects being explored include conducting trials in the use of infocomm to enhance and optimize car transhipment planning and operations, and automating some of the current labor-intensive processes in the bunker supply chain.

To provide strategic direction to the program, a steering committee consisting of government agencies and key industry players was formed in August to identify innovative deployments of infocomm in the ports, and thus strengthen the core logistics infrastructure of the Singapore economy.

Seaport connectivity
Later this year, MPA and IDA will jointly initiate a Call-For-Collaboration to develop new WISEPORT content and software applications for the seaport community. These content and applications could range from messaging services that allow ships to communicate more cost-effectively with other parties, to applications that allow ships to book maritime services through the high-speed network.

"The Infocomm@SeaPort programme will extend our current efforts to develop and promote the use of industry-wide infocomm technology systems," said Tay Lim Heng, MPA CEO. "We hope that the maritime community will capitalize on this advanced port infocomm infrastructure to improve their operations further and also to generate new business areas in Singapore. The MPA will continue to put in place advanced technology to ensure that Singapore remains an attractive port of call in terms of operational efficiency and high service quality."

The Infocomm@SeaPort programme was launched at the opening of the Second International Maritime-Port Technology and Development Conference (MTEC 2007) in Singapore.

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