Singapore seeks ideas on wireless network

Singapore's government is seeking ideas for a wireless Internet network covering the entire country.

A formal Request for Concepts will be issued next week for a network that will bring speeds up to 1 gigabit per second to 85 percent of Singapore's households by 2015.

A Channel News Asia report said the Communications and Arts Ministry announced the plan for the Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure project on Friday.

Minister Lee Boon Yang said in a speech to Parliament that the network would "sharpen our business efficiency and spark off many new opportunities for entrepreneurs."

The minister told the lawmakers that the network would be open access and carrier neutral, allowing all ISPs to carry their branded wireless services.

The timetable calls for the concept request to be followed up by a more detailed Request for Proposals this summer. The actual contract will be awarded next year.

In the meantime, Singapore plans to ask telcos and ISPs to take part in a government project to increase the availability of hot spots that can be accessed at minimal cost.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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