Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - Launch of Wi-Fi Hotspots at Mcdonald's, East Coast Park

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - Launch of Wi-Fi Hotspots at Mcdonald's, East Coast Park
Singapore, 23 March 2004

Good afternoon,
Mr Bob Beard, Managing Director, McDonald's Restaurants
Ladies and gentlemen.

Introducing Wi-Fi "Happy E-mail"

1. I am pleased to be here today on this happy occasion to witness the introduction of Wi-Fi to complement the Happy Meals at McDonald's. When McDonald's opened its first Singapore outlet at the Liat Towers, it was an instant hit amongst Singaporeans and the inaugural outlet churned out the world's highest number of hamburgers on the day of its opening. Since then, the popular fast food chain has adapted and tailored its product and service offerings to suit the changing lifestyles of its customers.

Wi-Fi Hotspots @ McDonald's

2. McDonald's had introduced various concepts to bring about greater convenience and choices to diners. True to its commitment to customers and to keep pace with the needs of the on-the-go generation, it has lifestyle offerings like drive-through, skate-through and now what I would call "click-through" @ McDonald's. Adding to its menu of burgers, fries and plush toys is Wi-Fi, which allows Internet access and roaming to support a mobile lifestyle. We hope that this offering will be as popular as Hello Kitty without the side effects.

3. With the availability of Wi-Fi at public places like McDonald's, students can now send email or ICQ to their friends on their laptops or personal digital assistants (PDAs) almost anytime anywhere in Singapore. There are approximately 30,000 students from the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) who own laptops and wireless access cards who can immediately benefit from this new service. These students are no strangers to Wi-Fi in that they can already roam wirelessly across their own campuses and in four public libraries, with a single sign-in account. Now they get to enjoy connectivity not just within the learning environment but at the nearest fast food outlet as well. On-the-move working professionals or "road warriors" as they are commonly known, with an appetite for instant connectivity to real-time information can also remotely plug into their office at any of the participating outlets.

Singapore - Most Wirelessly Connected Country

4. With 125 McDonald's outlets going wireless, this brings the number of public wireless hotspots in Singapore to more than 6001 islandwide. This is a significant number for a tiny country like ours. It means that there is approximately one wireless LAN hotspot located within every square kilometre of our land space. According to IDC2, Singapore will have almost 3 Wi-Fi hotspots per square kilometre of land space by the year 2007. Going by this measure of hotspot density, we will be the most connected country using wireless broadband.

5. Of all the McDonald's in Asia, Singapore is the first country chosen to offer Wi-Fi roaming. This move reinforces Singapore's position as Asia's living laboratory for wireless innovations. Apart from being the first country to implement nationwide Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) interoperability, Singapore is also the test bed for innovative wireless roaming initiatives. For example, the IDA-Intel Wireless Network Interworking initiative, first announced in March last year, strives to create an interoperable and secure architecture to achieve seamless Wi-Fi roaming and integrated subscriber billing. With McDonald's Singapore as one of the first adopters of this architecture, we hope to introduce this recipe to other McDonald's operations in Asia in the future.

6. Moving forward, IDA will continue to ensure the interoperability of various wireless networks, and to work in tandem with McDonald's to embrace more exciting technologies to bring about greater convenience and mobility to consumers.

7. Once again, I congratulate McDonald's on the launch of your Wi-Fi hotspots and hope that this is the first of many more mobile initiatives to come.

8. Thank you.


1 Figure as at March 2004.

2 "Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Public WLAN Hotspot Access Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2007", Tim Crowley, IDC, August 2003.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023