Free Wi-Fi access at four Sentosa hot spots

Thousands tapping govt-backed service daily since August rollout

Visitors to Sentosa can now get free Wi-Fi access with the rollout of the free national wireless network on the island.

The government-backed Wireless@SGx, which provides up to 2Mbps surfing speeds, is available at four key areas - the Beach Station, Imbiah Lookout, The Port of Lost Wonder and Mount Faber Leisure Group's cable car stations and retail outlets.

Whether the network will be extended to the beaches and the rest of the island depends on user acceptance during the one-year trial, said a Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) spokesman.

Since telco M1 rolled out the network on Sentosa in August, some 20,000 to 40,000 people have been using it daily.

For now, the focus is on providing visitors easier access to online information about the attractions and dining options on the island - minus mobile data charges, said Mr Eu Kwang Chin, SDC divisional director for information technology.

"We want to be a smart island tapping on technology to offer our guests better value and greater convenience."

Phone users need to do only a one-time registration and select Wireless@SGx as the network. The network can detect the phone using data stored in the SIM card in seconds.

Once set up, users can automatically log on to Wireless@SGx when their phones' Wi-Fi function is turned on.

Surfing speed has also doubled, which would attract users who wish to offload their 3G and 4G surfing onto the free network to avoid busting their mobile data caps.

Marketing specialist Grace Ang, 40, said free Wi-Fi is a good way of helping tourists and locals save on "expensive" mobile data charges.

But since access to Wireless@SGx is not islandwide, its benefits are limited. "It's nice to have free Wi-Fi at Sentosa beach, for instance," she said.

In April, the national network had a total of 5,000 hot spots in public areas, including hospitals and libraries. There are plans to increase the number to 10,000 next year.

itham@sph.com.sg