Singapore Startup Sees a Wave New World

SINGAPORE (04/07/2000) - Local start-up company WaveNewWorld International Corp. Pte. Ltd. this week announced an Internet delivery mechanism based on digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) which it believes can offer data transmission speeds of 7.5M bits per second (bps).

The system, exhibited at the Comdex Asia show here today, will be used with a range of special-purpose Internet appliances to bring multimedia Internet content to consumers, company officials said.

The hand-sized DMB receivers pull information out of the air in a similar way to DAB (digital audio broadcast) receivers already in use in Singapore, Australia, Europe and Canada, the officials said. DMB is based on the Eureka 147 DAB standard, but uses the entire bandwidth to transmit data rather than using 70 percent of the bandwidth to send audio information as DAB does.

Each channel can deliver 1.5M bps from a 1.7MHz frequency block and WaveNewWorld hopes to combine up to five such blocks to reach a broadcast transmission speed of 7.5M bps, the officials said.

Multi-channel DMB receivers will be installed in the company's Wave Bulletin electronic display board, Wave Pad mobile appliance and Wave TV television set-top box, company officials said.

The portable Wave Pad will be based on Transmeta Corp.'s Crusoe chip, while the larger devices will probably use National Semiconductor Corp.'s Geode SC1400 processor and the Linux operating system, the officials said. Add-ons for PCs and Apple Computer Inc. Macintoshes will also be developed, the company said.

The system can be operated in any area which has set up DAB services, or a DAB broadcast facility can be built within six months for US$5 million per city, the company said.

The only comparable system being planned is the iBlast network recently formed by a group of U.S. broadcasters. [See "Broadcasters Plan High-Speed Wireless Network," Mar 8].

In each city or country, WaveNewWorld plans to partner with one ISP (Internet service provider) which will host Web content and ensure two-way Internet connections, and one media broadcaster with at least one full-data 1.5MHz digital broadcasting license.

DMB technology can be developed to provide two-way communication, with uplink capability from the end user to the broadcaster. The reason this has not yet been done is due to low demand, the company officials said.

The company will trial the system on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit urban rail system once its application for a DAB license is approved by the local broadcasting authority, the officials said.

WaveNewWorld, in Singapore, can be contacted at +65-774-1181 or on the Internet at

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