TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Singapore Beginning Free Wireless Broadband Service

Singapore Beginning Free Wireless Broadband Service

Agence France Presse (
Wed, 11 Oct 2006 15:52:06 -0500

Tech-savvy Singapore will offer free wireless broadband service in
public areas from next year, the government said.

The program will increase the number of wireless hotspots from 900
currently to 5,000 over two years, allowing Singaporeans wireless
connectivity beyond homes, offices and schools where the service is
currently available, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
said in a statement late Tuesday.

The hotspots will be located in strategic areas including the central
business district, the Orchard Road shopping and tourist belt, and
community centres, the statement said.

It will offer free wireless connection for Internet surfing at speeds
of up to 512 Kbps. Those who want faster speeds and more sophisticated
services including video conferencing will have to pay a premium.

Three telecommunications firms, including Southeast Asia's biggest
telecom operator Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, have agreed to
participate in the project and will invest about 100 million dollars
(63 million US).

Singapore is Southeast Asia's most advanced economy and is among the
most wired countries in Asia.

"As we move forward in the digital age, we must broaden the
opportunities for all segments of the population to access and benefit
from technology. We must create digital opportunities for Singaporeans
and never allow a digital divide in our society," Prime Minister Lee
Hsien Loong said late Tuesday.

The wireless project is part of a 10-year masterplan to develop
Singapore's next-generation national information and communication
infrastructure, the government said.

Copyright 2006 Agence France Presse.

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