SINGAPORE: Commuters will be able to connect to free WiFi at 33 MRT stations from Monday (Oct 12), said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
In a news release on Monday, LTA said that five more stations - Buangkok, Kovan, Little India, Paya Lebar and Potong Pasir - are now WiFi-enabled.
These stations are the final five of the 33 pilot stations that are being equipped with free WiFi service, in a trial that started in August 2014. Since then, there have been about 700,000 logins to the service each day, a four-fold increase since its launch.
LTA plans to expand the free WiFi service progressively such that by 2020, commuters can connect to free WiFi at all MRT and LRT stations, and 30 bus interchanges and terminals.
Said Ms Rosina Howe-Teo, Group Director for Innovation and InfoComm Technology at LTA: “Enabling the first 33 stations with the free WiFi service is part of our programme to provide wireless coverage on our public transport network. This enhances the commuting experience by providing an ‘always connected’ journey for Commuters who need to check their emails or read the news during their commutes."
Ms Howe-Teo also said that LTA can use the data to generate insights on crowd behaviour and "improve the delivery of our public transport services".
Commuters can recognise WiFi-connected platforms by the posters and decals at the stations. WiFi access will be up to 2 Mbps, which is in line with the Wireless@SG provisions, said an LTA spokesperson.
FEASIBILITY OF WIFI IN TRAINS BEING STUDIED
In response to queries by Channel NewsAsia, an LTA spokesperson confirmed that the authorities are studying the feasibility of WiFi service while the trains are moving through underground tunnels - as currently provided in cities such as Seoul and Moscow - but such a project involves complex installation issues.
"Installing the required infrastructure to support a WiFi network in tunnels is more complex and will require tunnel access during engineering hours where ongoing rail renewal projects such as sleeper replacement and other maintenance activities are also taking place," said the spokesperson.
"Nonetheless, we are currently studying the feasibility of providing WiFi service in trains."
Currently, the rollout of WiFi to all stations will already take five years as implementation has to be done in phases during the non-operation hours and without disrupting existing station maintenance works, said LTA.