This Singapore public bus service is now offering WiFi-On-The-Go

Yon Heong Tung

As part of the Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) Trials, commuters can now connect to WiFi on selected SMRT Service 176 buses

Commuters on low data plans rejoice, Singapore telco M1 and the IDA have partnered up to serve a free WiFi service: WiFi-On-The-Go, on two SMRT Service 176 buses.

This is part of the local Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) — a solution developed by US-based telecommunication service Parallel Wireless — trials which aims “to validate advanced telecommunication technologies, and a network’s capabilities in providing pervasive and seamless connectivity in a real-life setting,” according to an official press release.

Each connected bus is linked to M1’s 4G+ network through an intelligent in-vehicle unit that boosts the bandwidth available to the on-board wireless network.

This bus service runs from Bukit Merah Interchange to Bukit Panjang Temporary Bus Park, and commuters can go online by connecting to the “Wireless@SG” network on their smart devices. The two WiFi-enabled buses will highlight the service via on-board signages.

By the end of April, HetNet will roll out the M1WiFi service — which it claims will be 10 times faster than Wireless@SG using a “carrier aggregation for backhaul” — on these buses. This service will, however, be only available to M1 customers.

In the future, WiFi-On-The-Go could potentially help businesses such as tour operators and fleet operators provide web-enabled services such as live video streaming and e-payment.

WiFi-On-The-Go is not Singapore’s first attempt at enabling free WiFi on public transport services. In October last year, the LTA launched WiFi services at 33 MRT stations.

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