Singapore, 28 March 2014 | For Immediate Release
Consumers can automatically connect to Singapore's biggest free public Wi-Fi network using supported devices; number of hotspots to double by 2015.
Consumers will soon enjoy easier access to all Wireless@SG hotspots, when a new automatic login feature kicks in from April 1.
Dubbed EAP-SIM, this new SIM card-based login feature offers users an "always on" experience by allowing them to automatically connect to any Wireless@SG hotspot using a supported device with a local SIM card.
This means new and existing users of Wireless@SG no longer need to sign up for the service or enter any credentials to access the Internet at any Wireless@SG hotspot.
The new enhancement is part of ongoing efforts by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to improve the user experience of Wireless@SG, a free public Wi-Fi service that offers Internet access speeds of up to 2Mbps.
Wireless@SG users can easily configure their supported mobile devices to make use of this new login feature by following the connection guide available from the IDA website at www.ida.gov.sg/Individuals-and-Community/Infocomm-You/Wireless-SG.
Visitors in Singapore will benefit from the improvements, too. From June 2014, visitors can register for a free account at any Wireless@SG hotspot and receive their login details through SMS messages sent to their foreign mobile numbers. Alternatively, visitors can buy a local prepaid SIM card from M1 and StarHub to log on to Wireless@SG via the new SIM-based login feature.
This will enhance the travel experience of smartphone-toting visitors, who are increasingly using their devices as travel guides to discover new sights and find their way around Singapore.
Speaking at the launch of the Next Phase of Wireless@SG today, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, said: "These enhancements are timely. The pervasive cellular network and presence of Wi-Fi hotspots have paved the way for service providers to roll out location-based and context-driven services to consumers and businesses."
To support the expected growth in demand for free public Wi-Fi services, the IDA, with the support of Wireless@SG operators and venue owners, will roll out more hotspots progressively.
By 2015, the IDA will double the total number of hotspots to 10,000. This will be further doubled to 20,000 by 2016.
Mr Khoong Hock Yun, IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Services Development Group, said: "Singaporeans have become increasingly Internet savvy and at ease with the mobile lifestyle. Since the launch of Wireless@SG in 2006, usage of the service has increased six-fold, and now stands at nearly 32 hours per user per month".
"The new SIM card-based login feature will provide easy access to Wireless@SG and increase usage of wireless services among consumers. In addition, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can tap on Wireless@SG to support their IT needs and improve productivity through business applications offered by Wireless@SG operators," he added.
From June 2014, enterprises can look forward to standardised business applications such as data analytics and targeted advertising solutions from Wireless@SG operators that ride on the same public-facing Wireless@SG network. Such standard IT solutions can be rolled out quickly and at a lower cost.
Mr Khoong said: "This will help Singapore companies become more competitive, while providing more free Wireless@SG hotspots for the public".
SMEs that are keen to offer Wireless@SG services at their premises can apply for a one-time subsidy capped at $2,400 from IDA to offset the cost of wireless equipment. IDA will provide more details on how SMEs can apply for the subsidy at a later date.
Mr P. Subramaniam, Chief Marketing Officer, M1 Limited
"With increased usage across M1's Wireless@SG hotspots at libraries, hospitals, F&B outlets and shopping malls, we are also experiencing a corresponding increase in interest in our innovative enterprise offerings such as smart office, payment and loyalty, and targeted advertising solutions, which enable enterprises to benefit from this national initiative."
Mr Johan Buse, Vice President of Consumer Marketing, SingTel
"As a Wireless@SG operator, SingTel is excited to play an important role in enhancing the speeds of the service and rolling out automatic login capabilities that provide users with seamless, hassle-free access to the network. Wireless@SG complements our own mobile networks and internet services. We have progressively increased the number of hotspots to provide even better coverage in popular public locations such as shopping malls and eateries. The enhancements will also help businesses to improve the productivity of employees who are frequently on-the-move."
Mr Mock Pak Lam, Chief Technology Officer, StarHub
"Together with IDA, we are pleased to offer our mobile customers SIM card based login to easily access Wireless@SG hotspots from their mobile devices. In the enterprise space, we hope to work with companies to deploy applications that allow them to enhance business operation or planning, quickly and cost-effectively over the Wireless@SG network."
Mr Jason Chong, Business Development Director, Y5ZONE Singapore
"As the first and largest Wholesale Wi-Fi Network Operator in Hong Kong, Y5ZONE is excited to spread its wings to Singapore to be on board as a Wireless@SG operator. Pioneering best-in-class Wi-Fi Hotspot Connectivity in over 40 cities with 8,000 hotspots and growing, Y5ZONE Singapore is offering premium and innovative wireless solutions focusing on Wi-Fi service provisioning, access control, advertising platform and many value added services. This will turn venue owner's Wi-Fi hotspots into an interactive and rewarding experience that will excite customers and keep them coming back for more!"
ISSUED BY INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.
For media clarifications, please contact:
Shanna NG (Ms)
Senior Manager, Corporate & Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211 3835