Easy, free Wi-Fi access for visitors to US cities

Singapore visitors to three cities in the United States can now access the Internet through free public Wi-Fi more conveniently.

Both Singapore and the US are testing a service which allows users to automatically connect to Wi-Fi hot spots after a one-time sign-up on their mobile devices.

From yesterday to Sept 21, they can connect to more than 1,000 Wi-Fi hot spots in San Jose, San Francisco and New York cities without needing to repeatedly key in their username and password when they move from one hot spot to another.

This feature is enabled after they download a configuration file and perform a one-time setup for auto-connection to the participating cities' hot spots.

Instructions can be found on https://worldwifiday.odyssys.net.

This is part of a trial that the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is working on with the Wireless Broadband Alliance City Wi-Fi Roaming Project, as part of the World Wi-Fi Day initiative.

Visitors from the United States on the T-Mobile network will be able to enjoy similar convenience on Singapore's Wireless@SG network.

They can gain access to the Republic's free public Wi-Fi network by registering their United States SIM card for Wireless@SG. This method, called SIM-login, is now available only for Singapore SIM cards.

American visitors will be connected automatically to the trial's 290 hot spots located on Sentosa and at major MRT stations.

IDA is working with the Land Transport Authority, Sentosa Development Corporation and telcos M1 and Singtel on this trial.

IDA assistant chief executive Khoong Hock Yun said: "Trialling the SIM-login method for foreign visitors is something new to us, and we hope to gather new insights, fine-tune technical challenges, and enhance the Wireless@SG programme further."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2016, with the headline 'Easy, free Wi-Fi access for visitors to US cities'. Subscribe