Singapore’s Largest Public Wireless ‘Hotzone’ Covers Area the Size of 28 International Soccer Fields
Singapore, 14 August 2002 - StarHub, Singapore’s leading info-communications provider, today announced the commercial launch of its first StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub at Suntec City.
Operating over an area of 180,000 square metres or about the size of 28 international soccer fields, StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub is Singapore’s largest public wireless ‘hotzone’ (see Editor’s Note). This Cisco Systems-enabled ‘hotzone’ covers -
Using the global wireless standard IEEE802.11b (or Wi-Fi), the StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub allows hundreds of customers to simultaneously connect to the Internet or their corporate data networks without being constrained by wires or cables. Customers will also be able to access their data at up to speeds of 11mbps.
"We are very excited about the vast opportunities that the StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub will bring to companies and individuals at Suntec. It will change the way people work, allowing them to hub effectively and productively while on the move," said Mr Kyong Yu, Senior Vice President, IP and Multimedia, StarHub. "This wireless ‘hotzone’ will also lay the foundation for us to develop value-added wireless applications and optimised multimedia content that will free users from the office environment to a more flexible working lifestyle."
"Suntec City has received international recognition as one of Asia's most impressive and successful commercial developments. We are now riding on the rapid waves of technology innovations to create a ‘Wireless City’ here for all our occupants and visitors," said Mr Wong Ah Long, Chief Executive Officer of Suntec City Development. "StarHub has laid an effective wireless broadband network in Suntec City, providing us with a ‘backbone’ to explore the integration of GPRS and 3G technologies to create a perfect environment for high-speed Internet accessibility and advanced wireless applications."
"With StarHub's wireless broadband service now available at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, we are able to offer a comprehensive range of wireless Internet services. These services will bring meetings, conventions and exhibitions at our venue to a new level while simultaneously offering endless communication and business opportunities to our customers," commented Mr Warren Buckley, Chief Executive Officer, Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Data-Based Subscription Model
As Singapore’s first, StarHub has implemented a data-based subscription model for the wireless ‘hotzone’ instead of the traditional time-based charging model. In data-based subscriptions, customers are billed according to the amount of data actually transmitted between their wireless laptops/PDAs and the wireless access point, rather than how long they stay connected to the wireless ‘hotzone’.
Commenting on data-based charging, Mr Kyong Yu said "Wireless transmission speeds may vary throughout the day. With data-based charging, a user will now have an accurate reflection of how much data he receives via the wireless connection."
The StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub subscription plans (see Editor’s Note) allow subscribers to access the Suntec ‘hotzone’ as well as any other ‘hotzones’ to be rolled out later in the year. Subscribers will also need an IEEE802.11b-compatible WLAN card in order to use the service. Interested parties should contact 1800 8257900 to subscribe to the service.
StarHub will continue to work with technology and building partners in Singapore to roll out other ‘hotzones’ this year. In future, StarHub will upgrade its IEEE802.11b platforms to include future standards (e.g. IEEE802.11a, IEEE802.11g and IEEE802.1x). StarHub is also planning to integrate these localised wireless ‘hotzones’ to StarHub’s nation-wide GPRS/3G networks, allowing seamless interconnection between fixed wireless and mobile networks.
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What is a ‘hotzone’?
Unlike traditional hotspots, which tend to focus within a limited area (e.g. shop premise or building), ‘hotzones’ are extended hotspots that seamlessly encompass a very large geographic space that may span several buildings, multiple levels, indoor and outdoor areas.
What are the Wireless Broadband Hub subscription plans?
For New Subscribers
For Current StarHub Paid Internet (see Footnote 1), StarHub Mobile (see Footnote 2), StarHub Business Solutions (see Footnote 3) and SCV Subscribers
All StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub customers who are also StarHub Paid Internet, StarHub Mobile, StarHub Business Solutions or SCV customers will get 50% off both the subscription fees and the per-usage (Kbyte) charges when using any StarHub ‘hotzone’ in Singapore. In other words -
Overseas Visitors with iPass and GRIC Global Roaming Accounts
Overseas visitors to Suntec City who have iPass accounts will be able to use this service immediately. GRIC subscribers should be able to use their accounts at the Suntec ‘hotzone’ by Fourth Quarter 2002.
Footnote 1: i.e. Excludes Surf-For-Free customers
Footnote 2: Excludes StarHub Mobile Green Pre-Paid Card customers
Footnote 3: Excludes IDD customers
Cisco Systems Singapore
"The demand for secure, high-speed access anytime, anywhere for mobile professionals is growing. The StarHub Wireless Broadband Hub in Suntec City is a strong indication of that trend. Delivered over a CISCO-powered infrastructure and utilising robust wireless LAN technology, the service will provide secure, reliable and high-speed access to corporate intranet and Internet resources for mobile workers. This will enable them to stay productive even when they are out of the office."
R Subha Vivek
Research Analyst, Technology Practice
Frost & Sullivan
"It is a compelling fact that public hotspots are an as-yet untapped gold mine for wireless revenue in the Asia-Pacific region. Wireless networks powered by the 802.11 technologies offer unlimited opportunities for service providers to increase subscriber base and revenues. The public hotspot movement today in Singapore is being driven by the clamouring demand for mobility from the growing number of mobile workforce and the consequent shifts in the way people work and access information."
iPass Inc Asia Pacific
"iPass views this deployment of a ‘hotzone’ as a major step toward widespread adoption of wireless broadband for the enterprise. More importantly, StarHub is taking the necessary steps to ensure interoperability between the Suntec ‘hotzone’ and the various security and policy management systems, such as virtual private networks."