Frustrated by slow mobile data connection at the MRT station? Well, a solution is underway to enhance the wireless connectivity at some platforms while you wait for the train.
According to a press release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), it is implementing a Wi-Fi connection trial at 28 MRT station platforms across Singapore. Tenders for the implementation have been called since yesterday and the service is expected to be progressively available from mid 2014.
The Wi-Fi connection trial will be available at all North East Line Stations and 12 other major stations with high passenger traffic. The 12 major stations are Jurong East, Raffles Place, City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Bishan, Serangoon, Buona Vista, Outram Park, Paya Lebar, Orchard, Choa Chu Kang and HarbourFront.
LTA states that it will be monitoring the trial for two years before deciding if the service will be extended to other MRT stations. The trial is part of Wireless@SG, a wireless broadband initiative by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) that aims to extend broadband access beyond homes, schools and offices to public places.
As the free wireless broadband access offers speeds of up to 2Mbps, it makes us wonder whether commuters will actually benefit from the trial especially during peak hours when the network is likely to be overwhelmed.
Nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction to help offload data that is originally directed for cellular networks. This strategy is also known as mobile data offloading (MDO). ABI Research published a study in 2010 predicting that the use of MDO will triple by 2015. For more information, do check out our article on how telcos are developing strategies to manage mobile data traffic flow.