23 Jan

Ascott To Launch 'Smart' Serviced Residence In Singapore

Thirty guests at The Ascott Singapore serviced residence will be among the first to experience a unique high-tech lifestyle of e-enabled services and mobile technology when The Ascott Group launches a pilot intelligent-home programme in June this year.

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with 8,400 serviced residence units in 20 cities across Asia, Australasia and the UK. After its acquisition of the Citadines serviced residence chain in Europe, it will have 13,500 units in 37 cities.

The smart-home services programme includes remote home monitoring and surveillance via multi-media messaging (MMS) and video streaming, integrated control of home appliances via short message service (SMS), video conferencing within the serviced residence, television commerce (T-commerce), and interactive TV.

During the six-month pilot programme, guests at The Ascott Singapore can choose to be alerted of visitors through their mobile phones when they are away from home. Parents can monitor their children at the playground or swimming pool without leaving their apartments. Residents can switch on the air-conditioner before they reach home or activate their digital video recorders by sending an SMS.

With wireless LAN, guests at the serviced residence will also enjoy easy and instant broadband and email access without having to plug into a network socket. They can also interact face-to-face without leaving their apartments through video conferencing, enjoy interactive TV, and make T-commerce purchases with credit card, CashCard or eNETS VCard.

These services are being created by World@Home, a consortium comprising Ascott and five other companies - National Computer Systems, NCS Communications Engineering, MediaCorp Technologies, Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) and Samsung Electronics.

World@Home is one of the five consortia supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore through its Connected Homes programme.

The Ascott Group's chief corporate and investment officer, Mr Benett Theseira, said: "These intelligent-home applications will enhance the lifestyles of our residents. The project is a unique opportunity for us to lead the market in supporting our very mobile guests with technology, and build on our reputation for innovative products and services. This is in line with our strategy to use information technology to increase our competitive edge in our products and services, and facilitate our global business".

He said that Ascott has harnassed information technology to enhance its customer satisfaction, speed up executive decision making across countries, streamline operations and lower costs.

Many of the group's serviced residences in 11 countries offer easy broadband Internet access. The group was also the first in the Asia Pacific to launch a real-time on-line serviced residence reservations network in 2001. Customers can view the group's residences in a virtual tour and get instant confirmation on their room reservations through the company's website.

The intelligent-home pilot programme is not expected to have any material effect on the company's financial results for the current financial year.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is an international serviced residence company, owning / managing over 8,400 serviced residence units in 20 cities in 11 countries across Asia, Australasia and the UK.

These include prime properties in gateway cities and business centres such as Singapore, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney and Melbourne.

After its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Citadines, a pan European serviced residence chain, its portfolio will be expanded to 13,500 units spanning 37 cities.

The Ascott Group pioneered the Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts an 18-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that are market leaders in the Asia Pacific.

The group's luxury 'The Ascott' brand projects an elegant lifestyle appealing to top executives. The 'Somerset' brand offers stylish, contemporary living for senior to upper management executives.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group's shares trade as 'Ascott' on the Singapore Exchange. It is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia's largest listed property companies.

For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations at (65) 6272-7272 or visit the group's website at www.the-ascott.com.






Ida Lim, Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: (65) 6586 7230 Hp: (65) 9628-8339 Fax: (65) 6586 7202
Email: ida.lim@the-ascott.com

Tay Cheng Cheng, Assistant Manager
Tel: (65) 6586 7231 Hp: (65) 9010 0627 Fax: (65) 6586 7202
Email: tay.chengcheng@the-ascott.com