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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        22  June 2011

Singapore invests in mobile apps

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The Singapore government has announced it will designate S$15 million to create user-friendly mobile applications that will "enhance the competitiveness" of companies in the retail, food and beverage, hotel and attractions sectors.

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim said the convergence of social networking, location sharing and mobile devices has created new opportunities and challenges.

Consumers are no longer just using their mobile phones for telephony or SMS, evident in the proliferation of tablets and other mobile devices over the last 12 months.

In view of the change, the government is looking for proposals from companies on innovative mobile services suitable for those industries.

Dr. Yaacob was speaking at the opening of the annual Infocomm Media Business Exchange, which started off as a small telecom trade show in the 1980s.

It has now grown into a global platform for broadcast and communications professionals.

This year, it attracted some 2,000 companies and more than 50,000 delegates.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Yaacob gave a taste of what consumers can expect with latest breakthroughs using Internet technology.

He said within the next year, consumers in Singapore and overseas will be able to freely access MediaCorp's seven 'Free-to-Air' channels.

"This initiative will also be a good way for overseas Singaporeans to keep abreast of events at home through the latest local TV programmes and be entertained by other programmes that MediaCorp has rights to," Dr. Yaacob said.

Details of this service would be announced nearer the implementation.

Dr. Yaacob added: "With the success of its 'original web dramas' for its xinmsn portal, MediaCorp will also be launching a new interactive service in the second half of 2011 known as "Over-the-Top" or OTT.

"This new service will offer free and premium content over broadband and will be available on different platforms such as TVs, PCs, tablet devices and mobile phones".


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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