Singapore to double speed of free public Wi-Fi

Summary:Speeds on Wireless@SG will be bumped up to a maximum 2Mbps from next month, as part of wider government efforts to improve the country's wireless infrastructure.

From next month, speeds on Singapore's free public Wi-Fi network Wireless@SG will be doubled as part of the government's efforts to boost the country's wireless infrastruture.

The access speeds will be raised from 1 megabit per second (Mbps) to a maximum of 2 Mbps, according to Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim. He was speaking in a Parliament during the debate of the Budget last Friday.

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Wireless@SG last had its speed upgraded in 2009, from 512 kbps to 1 Mbps.

"The free Wireless@SG network was popular with Singaporeans. More businesses have subscribed to Wireless@SG for their own operations, such as cashless payments and facility surveillance. But the system is now over six years old," noted Yaacob.

Part of the enhancement plans includes a more simplified login process, instead of the current system requiring users to repeatedly enter their details on every use.

The improved system will be able to recognize registered users through the SIM cards in their mobile devices. According to Yaacob, this will complement the country's mobile networks and allow subscribers to more seamlessly shift from 3G and 4G networks to Wireless@SG. This will potentially provide a form of Wi-Fi offloading and relieve some of the traffic strain on telcos' networks.

Last November, ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority said it would draw guidelines to oversee hotspot rollouts , after it found the overlap from the increasing number of Wi-Fi hotspots may have slowed down the network for users.

Topics: Wi-Fi, Broadband, Government : Asia, Singapore

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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