The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has stepped up its game to keep everyone connected with an automatic SIM-card login feature starting this April 1. In addition, it is looking to double the number of wireless hotspots to 10,000 by 2015, and to 20,000 by 2016.
According to an official statement, consumers — both new and existing users of the 2 Mbps [email protected] initiative — will no longer have to sign up for the service or enter credentials to access the internet via hotspots. These users, however, will be able to authenticate their usage of the hotspot through their mobile devices directly.
Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Services Development Group, IDA said, “Singaporeans have become increasingly internet-savvy and at ease with the mobile lifestyle. Since the launch of [email protected] in 2006, usage of the service has increased six-fold, and now stands at nearly 32 hours per user per month.”
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He added that the new SIM-card based login, dubbed as EAP-SIM, will provide easy access to the wireless initiative and increase usage of such services among consumers. He also highlighted small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that can use [email protected] to support IT needs and improve productivity through business applications offered by operators of the initiative.
The official statement noted:
“From June 2014, enterprises can look forward to standardised business applications such as data analytics and targeted advertising solutions from [email protected] operators that ride on the same public-facing [email protected] network. Such standard IT solutions can be rolled out quickly and at a lower cost. … SMEs that are keen to offer [email protected] services at their premises can apply for a one-time subsidy capped at S$2,400 (US$1900) 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.”
Foreigners in the city-state can too benefit from such enhancements. From June 2014, visitors can either apply for a free account at any [email protected] hotspot available throughout the country and receive details through SMS messages sent to their foreign mobile numbers, or buy a local prepaid SIM card to log in directly.