Review of Suntec City Wi-Fi network
A CIO magazine blogger posted an informal review of the Suntec City Wi-Fi network created for the IMF/World Bank meetings. I previously posted on the economic inefficiency of the network here. Below is part of the review.
Accessing the Wireless@SG network was a breeze while seated outside a cafe in CityLink Mall. My search for a Wi-Fi connection turned up five access points within range, four of which were labeled "Wireless@SG." Once I had selected a Wireless@SG access point and connected, I opened my browser and found the welcome screen, which requires users to first agree to a set of terms and conditions before they can get online.
My expectations were high. After all, the IDA Web site promised Wireless@SG offers connection speeds up to 512K bps (bits per second), depending on the number of users accessing the network.
An informal test showed I could access U.S. Web sites at speeds of 150K bps, not quite the maximum promised but more than adequate for Web surfing and checking e-mails. That speed also matched the network connection of my laptop’s 3G (third-generation) data card when tested from the same location.
The Wireless@SG connection was fast enough for YouTube, allowing me to watch a video clip from "The Colbert Report." Similarly, I was able to call my Tokyo colleague using Skype’s SkypeOut service. However, the call volume on my side was low -- a common problem I have observed with SkypeOut -- and, amidst the noise of the busy shopping mall, made it difficult for me to hear. In the end, I gave up on SkypeOut and used my cell phone to finish the call.
At one point, my computer was dropped from the Wireless@SG access point, forcing me to reconnect. But once again the process was painless and within seconds I was online once more.