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Going green with Wi-Fi

Going green with Wi-Fi

Green Wi-Fi trial at Sentosa will expand Wireless@SG service in a sustainable way.

The sun is literally shining on free public Wi-Fi connectivity on Singapore's resort island.

Yes, you can now stream a high-definition movie on your smartphone while strolling down Sentosa’s Merlion Walk, thanks to a new initiative which uses solar energy to power Wi-Fi hotspots, providing a cost-effective way to extend the pervasiveness of Wireless@SG into outdoor spaces.

Visitors to the holiday island can connect automatically to the new outdoor hotspot by logging on to the MySentosa app which has been integrated with the Wireless@SG network for a seamless visitor experience.

New users can also use the MySentosa app to register for a free Wireless@SG account. 

Min imbX

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim: If this pilot is successful, we could potentially expand Wireless@SG to reach more outdoor areas in a sustainable manner.

Announcing the Green Wi-Fi trial at the opening of the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX) Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the Minister for Communications and Information, said, “Traditionally, deploying Wi-Fi outdoors has been difficult and costly due to the trenching works required. 

"As such, most of the Wireless@SG hotspots are indoors. If this pilot is successful, we could potentially expand Wireless@SG to reach more outdoor areas in a sustainable manner and bring public Wi-Fi coverage in Singapore to the next level.”

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said by eliminating the need for expensive and labourious trenching work and using solar energy, a green Wi-Fi hotspot could result in savings of at least 50 per cent compared with the cost of a traditional Wi-Fi hotspot. 

The system also has built-in intelligence and is able to adjust its power needs automatically based on the number of users logged onto the wireless network. A battery, which is charged by the sun during the day, allows the system to continue working at night or when on days when there is insufficient sunlight.

The Green Wi-Fi trial on Sentosa will run until September next year and will allow IDA along with its industry partners Aruba, M1, Skylab and the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) to test the equipment and gauge its real-world performance and reliability. 


At the IDA Pavilion at imbX: Mr Stanley Toh, project manager with Skylab, explaining how the solar-powered access point is being deployed on Sentosa.

The various partners also showcased the technology at the IDA Pavilion during the imbX CommunicAsia 2016 exhibition.

Currently, there are more than 200 Internet hotspots across Sentosa.

SDC said that if the trial is successful, additional outdoor areas will be similarly connected for the benefit of its many guests.

The Wireless@SG network was launched in 2006 to accelerate the use of high-speed wireless broadband to the public and spur the development of new online services in Singapore. 

With current speeds of about 5Mbps, it is at least twice as fast as the typical public Wi-Fi speed globally, which ranges between 256kbps and 2Mbps. 

IDA plans to expand public Wi-Fi coverage across Singapore from the current from 10,000 hotspots to 20,000 by 2018.

1. Teaser photo: Adapted from Creative Commons The Merlion Statue at Sentosa Island, Singapore by Haakon S. Krohn licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

2. Main photo, top: Adapted from Creative Commons 1 sentosa aerial panorama 2016 from south by Chensiyuan licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.


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