The Star Online
May 27, 2004
HOMEGROWN mobile content and service provider iNavigate Sdn Bhd believes that its Traffic Information Service application could potentially be one of the “killer apps” mobile service providers have long been looking for.
According to its CEO Lim Kian Khoon, Traffic Information Service has all the elements that subscribers would want – it’s convenient to access, informative in nature and is priced affordably.
“These factors are what we believe the public is looking for in a mobile phone application,” he told reporters at a media tour of iNavigate’s office last week.
iNavigate’s Traffic Information Service is currently available over DiGi Telecommunication Sdn Bhd’s WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) portal. The service enables users to receive an MMS (multimedia messaging service) – over DiGi’s mobile network – of real-time traffic conditions on a given road area within the Klang Valley and Penang.
Lim said there are currently 11 cameras in various locations that capture pictures of road conditions round the clock. Some examples of these locations are: The Federal Highway, Jalan Damansara, Eastin Hotel area, Kesas Highway, Jalan Sultan Ismail, and Jalan Ampang in the Klang Valley; and Gurney Road and Komtar, in Penang.
“We have identified more locations that could potentially be congested during rush hour and we expect that by the third quarter of this year, we would have strategically placed cameras along these roads,” he said, while declining to give specific numbers.
To access Traffic Information Service, users need to go to DiGi’s WAP portal and select the icon “Traffic Info,” after which a list of road locations will be displayed. Users then select which roads to check. A still picture will be delivered immediately via MMS to their mobile phone.
Traffic Information Service is currently offered for free until June 30, after which users will be charged for the amount of data used.
DiGi recently announced that the cost of data usage (uploading and downloading) over the EDGE network would be the same as its GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) rates. DiGi prepaid subscribers will have to pay 10sen per 10KB, while postpaid subscribers will pay 5sen per 10KB.
Lim said it took three engineers about six months to design, test and implement the traffic application system. He added that this application is not just confined to traffic information but can be used in other scenarios such as security and monitoring.
According to DiGi’s senior manager for product development, Albern Murty, the delay between taking a shot and the time a user receives the shot is only about two to three minutes at most.
“In the near future, we will offer streaming over our EDGE (Enhance Data rate for GSM Evolution) network, where images will be streamed in real-time to the user’s mobile,” he said, adding that there will be no delay when using EDGE.