IE SINGAPORE LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE TO EXPORT ICT SOLUTIONS TO RURAL COMMUNITIES
New iRural initiative to promote Singapore-based ICT solutions for rural communities in emerging markets – first consortium formed under this initiative clinches two projects in India and Peru worth S$10 million, and targets S$300 million in sales.
MR No.: 006/09
Singapore, Wednesday, 11 February 2009
1. With governments worldwide boosting domestic spending to stimulate economic growth during this downturn, Singapore-based companies can continue to look forward to opportunities abroad. With this in mind, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is stepping up efforts to assist Singapore-based Infocomm Technology (ICT) companies expand overseas with an “iRural Initiative”, which helps export Singapore-based ICT solutions to rural communities in emerging markets via a consortium approach.
2. Mr Thian Tai Chew, Director of Infocomm Technology Division, IE Singapore, said, “During these challenging times, Singapore-based ICT companies should consider looking at diversifying their markets as a long term plan. IE Singapore hopes to encourage able ICT companies to continue to advance their international footprint by diversifying their customer base and generating new demand. The iRural Initiative supports companies to band together and provide holistic solutions to bridge the digital divide in rural communities. It helps to facilitate easier and more efficient market access for the companies, and also allows them to add value to the populace.”
3. Officially launched today, the iRural Initiative promotes holistic Singapore-based ICT solutions for rural communities  in emerging / growth markets such as China, India, Latin America and Vietnam. The end goal is to set up a well-connected wireless network and IT infrastructure in these communities. Under this initiative, IE Singapore will support ICT consortiums to provide a complete suite of solutions from internet infrastructure to healthcare, education and micro-finance applications. By competing for overseas projects as a consortium, companies stand a higher chance of success as their complementary strengths can add value to the needs of the communities.
iRural Community Consortium (iRCC) clinches two projects
4. Today, the first consortium under the iRural Initiative was officially formed with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony. Called the iRural Community Consortium (iRCC), the group aims to achieve targeted overseas revenue of S$300 million over five years. It offers a comprehensive solution to provide ICT services (hardware and software) to rural communities. It is led by anchor company smartBridges Solutions LLP, with two member companies, InnoMedia Pte Ltd and Nera Telecommunications Ltd.
5. Even before the official formation today, the iRCC had already begun work six months ago and has successfully clinched two projects worth a total of S$10 million in India and Peru. Apart from these two projects, there are currently over 10 projects in the pipeline. IE Singapore will be working closely with the consortium to identify more project leads in their target markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
6. The MOU for the formation was signed by Mr Nimesh D. Parikh, Chairman of smartBridges Solutions LLP, Mr Ng Kai Wa, Chairman cum Chief Executive Officer of InnoMedia Pte Ltd and Mr Samuel Ang, Chief Executive Officer of Nera Telecommunications Ltd. The solutions provided by each company are:
· smartBridges Solutions – Carrier grade Wireless IP infrastructure;
· InnoMedia – VoIP and video products;
· Nera Telecommunications – Wireless backbone, IP networks, payment solutions, etc.
(Please refer to Annex 1 for write-ups of the three companies)
7. Said Mr Nimesh D. Parikh, Chairman of smartBridges Solutions LLP, the anchor company, “The iRural Community Consortium is a powerful platform that brings the much needed one-stop Rural Connectivity and e-Education Services to help bridge the digital divide. The concept was conceived and developed by some of the most motivated people at IE Singapore. I am already witnessing the impact that it is creating in these financially challenging times.”
Annex 1: Write-up on iRural Community Consortium companies
Annex 2: Chinese names
About International Enterprise Singapore
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading the development of Singapore’s external economic wing. Our mission is to promote the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade. With a global network in over 30 locations and our “3C” framework of assistance – Connections, Competency, Capital, we offer services to help enterprises export, develop business capabilities, find overseas partners and enter new markets. At the same time, we work to position Singapore as a base for foreign businesses to expand into the region in partnership with Singapore-based companies. Please visit www.iesingapore.com for more information.
ABOUT iRURAL COMMUNITY CONSORTIUM COMPANIES
1) smartBridges Solutions LLP
smartBridges’ carrier-class, high performance wireless connectivity products empower communication service providers to deploy cost effective, scalable, high performance wireless IP broadband networks that span entire cities, states and nations.
As a wireless broadband pioneer, smartBridges has been developing standards-based intelligent wireless edge solutions for over 10 years, with deployments in over 80 countries worldwide. smartBridges’ complete portfolio of field proven, state-of-the-art wireless networking solutions are used for the delivery of IP based services to Enterprise and residential subscribers, Community Internet Kiosks for e-Governance, Schools and Hospital connectivity, VoIP telephony, Cellular Base Station Connectivity, Remote Video Surveillance, and Industrial applications.
For more information please visit: www.smartbridges.com
2) InnoMedia Pte Ltd
InnoMedia. As one of the early pioneers in the IP telephony market, InnoMedia has taken an end-to-end systems approach to deliver advanced and innovative CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) as well as network server products for converged IP networks. With in-depth knowledge and experience in communications protocols, voice and video media processing, and QoS management techniques, combined with a dedicated focus on integration, optimization and interoperability, InnoMedia delivers true end-to-end IP telephony solutions.
For more information please visit: www.innomedia.com
3) Nera Telecommunications Ltd
NeraTel is a premier solutions provider with the technological expertise to provide proven solutions, the commitment to offer excellent customer service and localization of resources in each market it operates. We live in a world of instant communications – anytime and anywhere. Computers, telephones, cellular phones, Internet, Intranet, satellites, radio, IP networks and more have shrunk the world we live in, creating a global village. Everything is linked and information is available at our fingertips – regardless of our location. Even as technology has redefined the concept of convenience, we continue to search for more effective communications tools – to bring us to a stage where communications is effortless.
For more information please visit: www.neratel.com.sg
LIST of NAMES
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore
Mr. Thian Tai Chew
Director, Infocomm Technology Division
Mr. Nimesh D. Parikh
smartBridges Solutions LLP
Mr. Ng Kai Wa
Chairman cum Chief Executive Officer
InnoMedia Pte Ltd
Mr. Samuel Ang
Chief Executive Officer
Nera Telecommunications Ltd
 By rural communities, this refers to parts of the country that are lacking in basic IT infrastructure and public services