Singapore set to test HDTV
The country will begin trials of high-definition television this month as part of efforts to boost the city-state's competitiveness through more advanced technology. "HDTV technology presents tremendous opportunity to position Singapore as a leader in the media sector," Christopher Chia, chief executive officer of Singapore's Media Development Authority, told reporters yesterday. "The stage is set for the next stellar jump as we enhance Singapore's position as the next-generation media hub of Asia." StarHub Ltd, Singapore's only cable-television provider, and state-owned broadcaster MediaCorp Pte will participate in the trials, Chia said. Both companies declined to comment on investment figures for HDTV, which offers images that are up to five times clearer and sharper than traditional analog TV.
Philips wins Chinese deal
Dutch consumer electronics and appliance maker Royal Philips Electronics NV said on Tuesday that Chinese cellphone maker Haier chose its Nexperia cellular system 5128 to create a low-cost handset for mass production in China. The company did not give financial details. "The bulk of new subscriber growth over the next five years will come from developing regions, such as China," said Scott Smyser, principal analyst at market research firm iSuppli Corp, in a statement.
DoCoMo eyes alliance
NTT DoCoMo Inc, the world's second-largest cellphone company, may ally with online search engines this year to encourage users to spend more for Internet services, challenging a tie-up struck between KDDI Corp and Google Inc. "Mobile phones are becoming much closer to personal computers," chief executive Masao Nakamura said during an interview in Tokyo. "We definitely need a search engine." He declined to name prospective companies. Nakamura also said the company may increase spending to keep customers before the introduction of rule changes that will allow users to switch operators without changing their phone number. DoCoMo will decide whether to spend more on promotions and incentives to retailers depending on what its rivals do, he said.
Airline, hotel mull tie-up
Japan's second largest airline, All Nippon Airways, (ANA) said yesterday it was considering a tie-up with the InterContinental Hotels Group. "We are considering, if possible, forming a tie-up with InterContinental group," an ANA spokeswoman said without elaborating. The ANA group, which operates 33 hotels in Japan and two overseas, wants to focus its resources on strategic areas, such as international logistics operations, the Sankei Shimbun reported, citing ANA sources.
Development bank set up
Vietnam has set up a development bank with registered capital of more than US$300 million to help the government orient key investment projects, a bank official said yesterday. The Vietnam Development Bank also aims to boost exports and reduce poverty, said the official, who declined to be named. According to the English-language daily Vietnam News, the bank was set up in Hanoi on Tuesday and is exempted from budgetary obligations.