The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced today that starting from April 1 consumers across the country will be able to use a new automatic login feature to access Wireless@SG-the free nationwide public Wi-Fi service that offers Internet access speeds of up to 2Mbps-more quickly and easily.
The new feature, EAP-SIM, is a "SIM card-based login feature [that] 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," said IDA representatives today. "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."
"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," they said, adding that starting from June, visitors to Singapore will also be able to take advantage of this new feature. "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 [or] buy a local prepaid SIM card from M1 and StarHub to log on to Wireless@SG via the new SIM-based login feature."
According to them, this latest feature rollout is only part of a series of service enhancements meant to "improve the user experience of Wireless@SG" and was one of the two key announcements made today by the IDA, under the Next Phase of Wireless@SG banner-the other being the agency's plans to double the total number of hotspots in Singapore to 10,000 by 2015, and to 20,000 by 2016.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, who spoke at the Next Phase for Wireless@SG today, 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."
In agreement re the timeliness of these enhancements was IDA Assistant Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Services Development Group, Khoong Hock Yun. "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," he said. "The new SIM card-based login feature will provide easy access to Wireless@SG and increase usage of wireless services among consumers."
Khoong went on to talk about the greater Wireless@SG benefits to be had currently and in the near future by businesses in Singapore. "Small and medium enterprises [SMEs] can tap Wireless@SG to support their IT needs and improve productivity through business applications offered by Wireless@SG operators," he said, referring to a number of standardised business applications that will be made available to enterprises in Singapore on the Wireless@SG network from June onwards. Covering areas such as data analytics and targeted advertising solutions, these business applications are standardised and as such can be rolled out very quickly and at lower costs.