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SingTel Says 'Good-Bye 35mm Reels, Hello Digital Movies to Asia'

By Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel)
Jan 29, 2004, 19:43

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U.S. Movie Distributors Win with Huge Cost Savings; Opens Up Market Access for Foreign and Independent Film Studios

REDWOOD CITY, California -- Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today announced that American movie distributors can now distribute their movies digitally from the United States to Asian countries and most other major cities in the world using the company's Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network. Digital media distribution could cut the average total cost per U.S. movie with 3,000 prints from $6 million to $42,000, saving Hollywood movie distributors more than $1 billion a year in duplication, transportation and other costs** and opening the market to foreign and independent film studios.

Marking a momentous accomplishment, SingTel recently became the first carrier in the Asia Pacific region to facilitate the cross-border digital distribution of a newly released film. The new Hong Kong blockbuster movie, Infernal Affairs III, was digitally distributed directly from Hong Kong to the Shaw Lido Cineplex in Singapore using SingTel's ATM service.

About 80GB video data were transmitted digitally between the two cities via SingTel's international optic fiber network, and delivered directly to the digital movie server at the Cineplex providing viewers with enhanced picture quality and sound.

"SingTel's ATM technology revolutionizes movie distribution around the world," said Hwee Boon Ng, Managing Director of Singapore Telecom USA, Inc. (SingTel USA). "Dispatching physical 35mm movie reels here in the U.S. and globally requires time and money from reel duplication and courier costs. Through digital distribution, American distributors reduce their potential risks to piracy, and lessen film quality degradation from repeated use of reels."

Currently, 99 percent of films in U.S. theaters are on standard 35mm reels with the cost of film prints ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per theater. The standard 35-mm print format can be cost prohibitive for foreign and independent film studios, and content limiting for moviegoers. Through digital movie distribution, costs are significantly reduced enabling film studios regardless of size to distribute their movies.

In addition to digital distribution of movies, live events such as sporting events and concerts can also be digitally transmitted via SingTel's ATM technology.

A Success in Asia, Digital Media a Potential Boom for the U.S.

According to industry figures, the Asian digital film market is currently growing at a faster pace than in other parts of the world.

-- In 2000, about $215 billion was spent on entertainment and media in the
Asia-Pacific region, at 5.3 percent annual growth. (Source:
-- Over 50 percent of Hollywood's annual revenue currently comes from
overseas, and by 2015, 60 percent of Hollywood film sales will be in
Asia. (Source: Claudia Eller and Lorenza Munoz, "The Plots Thicken in
Foreign Markets," Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2002, pp. 1, and 26-
-- Japan accounted for nearly 42 percent of Asian box office revenues.
India accounted for 12.3 percent of the box office. China accounted for
12.7 percent of the total grosses. (Source: Screen Daily, May 7, 2002)

"Strongly positioned to serve the movie industry with our extensive Pan- Asian infrastructure, SingTel sees increasing use of digital movie distribution around the world, particularly in the U.S.," continued Ng. "The Singapore premiere of Infernal Affairs III is an example of the cutting-edge and innovative solutions the American media industry can look forward to in the near future."

SingTel's ATM service supports video, voice and data transmission over a single communication network and is ideal for organizations that need robust and resilient multi-site connections across boundaries.

** Based on a 2003 study conducted by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).

About SingTel

SingTel is Asia's leading communications company with operations and investments in more than 20 countries and territories around the world. Serving both the corporate and consumer markets, it is committed to bringing the best of global communications to customers in the Asia Pacific and beyond.

Operating out of two major centers, Singapore and Australia (through wholly-owned subsidiary SingTel Optus), the SingTel Group provides a comprehensive portfolio of services that include voice and data services over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms. In Singapore, SingTel has had more than 120 years of operating experience and has played an integral part in the development of the city as a major communications hub in the region. In Australia, Optus serves more than six million customers. It has driven the competition as the challenger brand and led the way in technological innovations and breakthroughs.

The Group's other major investments in the region include Advanced Info Service of Thailand, the Bharti Telecom Group of India, Globe Telecom of the Philippines and Telkomsel of Indonesia. Together with its regional partners, SingTel is Asia's largest multi-market mobile operator, serving about 41 million customers in six markets.

SingTel has been recognized Best Asian Telecom Carrier by industry publication, TelecomAsia, for six consecutive years since 1998. The Group employs more than 19,000 people around the world and had a turnover of $5.80 billion for the year ended 31 March 2003. More information can be found @ and

About SingTel USA

Established in the U.S. since 1993, SingTel USA received FCC 214 license to offer telecom services in the U.S. and became a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel. Serving as the global communications company's North American representative, SingTel USA bridges the gap to Asia for U.S. companies, providing a seamless connection through a single carrier that reaches across a previously disparate region. SingTel USA's portfolio of telecommunications solutions include corporate data, Internet and wholesale voice services, which connect our U.S.-based corporate customers to Asia and beyond, complementing the other mobile, systems integration, Internet, satellite and e-commerce services offered by SingTel within Asia. Headquartered in Redwood City (San Francisco Bay Area), SingTel USA has offices in Stamford, Conn., Chicago, and Houston.

For more information about SingTel USA go to

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