More Asian markets are looking to introduce Wi-Fi on their transport systems given that it would improve commuter satisfaction and boost overall GDP growth.
According to Singapore’s new Land Transport Master Plan, commuters at the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations on the North East Line (NEL) will soon have access to free Wi-Fi. The trial will be commencing in the middle of next year to improve connectivity at stations.
The free service will be available in all stations on the NEL and at major interchange stations like City Hall, Raffles Place and Dhoby Ghaut.
It is unsure if any registrations are required to access the free Wi-Fi for now.
How are Singapore netizen reacting to the announcement? Here are some responses taken from local online forum HardwareZone:
Looks like the government’s good intention is not well received by Singaporean citizens.
In Singapore, public free wifi hot spots are powered by the local telcos through Wireless@SG. Earlier this month, the Straits Times reported that the number of free hot spots has dipped by a third over the past year as the Government discontinued its funding for the roll-out of Wireless@SG service locations.
“Latest figures obtained by The Straits Times showed that the number of Wireless@SG hot spots has plunged from 7,500 across 2,300 locations to 5,200 across some 1,700 locations by August.” – Straits Times.
In Japan, free public networks can be found around major airports and train stations, tourist information centers and major shopping streets. A few cities, such as Kyoto and Fukuoka, have also begun to introduce free public networks in their central districts.
Back in April 2013, Tokyo Metro has also initiated a free Wi-Fi service trial for 30 of its train stations, which end on July 31, 2013. The free Wi-Fi service is available when commuters download the Metro Amusement Network Trinity App (MANTA). Users can only use the service for 15 minutes each session, and no more than five times a day.
In India, The Indian Railways has also recently announced a US$1.1 million satellite Internet pilot project which will roll out free wireless Internet access to passengers for its train service.
In Taipei, free Wi Fi are available in major MRT stations, provided by the Taipei government. You have to register for a Wi Fi account prior to usage.
The Beijing Public Transport and China Mobile’s Beijing subsidiary also signed an agreement providing wireless network capabilities on public buses in the Chinese capital last April. The service has since been extended to more bus routes in late January this year.