I was at Raffles City Starbucks last week when a Korean tourist approached me and asked if there is free internet service here. I told her that we have a free internet service call Wireless@sg. All she needs is to register at the login page.
Minutes later, she approached me again and asked how to register. So I guided her along the registration process until we stumble upon something. You need to have a local mobile phone number in order to register for a Wireless@sg account.
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Hello?!?! What is the chances of a tourist having a +65 mobile phone number? Why aren’t they allowed to register with their telephone number from their country?
Wireless@sg registration for tourist is rather tedious and troublesome. A Malaysian journalist from ZDnet Asia wrote about his ‘registration experience’ with Wireless@sg at Changi Airport early this year. No prize for guessing if he managed to login to our Nation’s Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure initiative.
Perhaps we can take a leaf out of Malaysia’s Wireless@kl book. Tourist can register for an account at Wireless@kl website before visiting Malaysia. The activation code is send to your mobile number and you don’t need a Malaysian mobile phone number to register for Wireless@kl. My Singapore mobile number works fine.
Look at Singapore’s Wireless@sg. We don’t even have a dedicated page for Wireless@sg. We have 3 separate registration page run by 3 operators. Won’t that add on to more confusion for the tourist? And none of them allow you to register if you don’t have a Singapore mobile phone number. If you are a tourist without a Singapore mobile phone, you can register at Changi Airport’s information counters. Seriously? Like if I’m at Raffles City at midnight and I need to use Wireles@sg, I have to go down to Changi Airport to register for an account? And what is the information counter’s opening hour?
If IDA is serious about allowing tourists/visitors use wireless@sg, I think they need to seriously re-look into the registration process. Else, please remove the link for tourist to register a wireless@sg account.
So in the end, the Korean tourist couldn’t register a Wireless@sg account. I have to login my account on her netbook so that she could send email back to her family and friends in Korea.

Remember last time when I blog about Creative pushing advertisement at the bottom of your web browser when you are on Qmax Wireless@sg? Someone suggested that I take a snapshot of that advertisement on Apple website. Here you go.

Haha. It’s not everyday you get to see a company advertising on a competitor’s website.
I still get the weird feeling whenever I’m using Qmax wireless@sg. Don’t like their shameless way of inserting advertisement at the bottom of every webpage that we visit. True enough that this is a free WIFI network. But the other two wireless@sg service provider didn’t do that. Didn’t IDA pay them enough?
The same question still lingers in my head. Can website owners sue creative for forcing advertisement on their website?

OK, I promised that I will stop shooting wireless@sg so frequently ever since I got my Singnet Mobile Broadband. But sometimes when I’m lazy to take out the modem and wireless@sg never to fail me.
I’m now at Marina Square Starbucks. Here is the problem. Starbucks’ wireless@sg service provider is Singtel. There is another iCell wireless@sg network nearby. I think it’s from McDonalds.
So I login to the Singtel wireless@sg. After using the internet for awhile, I got disconnected from the Singnet wireless@sg for no reason and got connected to the iCell wireless@sg. (Since all 3 service provider are using wireless@sg as the router name) And I need to re-login to the iCell wireless@sg. And after awhile, I got disconnected from iCell wireless@sg for no reason again and got connected to the Singtel wireless@sg. And to make things worst, I need to re-login to Singtel wireless@sg AGAIN. And this thing goes on and on and on.
HELLO! What the heck is wrong with wireless@sg? Why do I keep getting disconnected? And the 3 wireless@sg service provider really should wake up their idea. It’s time they start sharing their database and not make users login multiple times when they switch between wireless@sg router. And why do I have to re-login to wireless@sg Singtel/iCell after I was disconnected when I login 5 minutes ago?
Anyone from wireless@sg reading this? Or you guys having difficulties connecting to wireless@sg too?
I’m logging off. Have enough of all these crap.

If you read my blog frequently, you will notice that I’m always complaining about wireless@sg. The thing is, the service is really horrible. In fact, I’m writing this article at a place with wireless@sg, but couldn’t connect to the internet. In the end, I have to use mobile broadband.
And because I keep complaining about wireless@sg, my old blog is now the 4th result in google if you search for the word wireless@sg. On top of Qmax and iCell website. OUCH.

And I’m not the only person complaining about wireless@sg. There are lots of complains about it, but these complains will most likely not be published on the mainstream media. The mainstream media still wants us to believe that wireless@sg is very good.
I got an interesting comment by one of the blog reader who posted his complain letters to wireless@sg and IDA. Below is the quote.

Dear CS,
Your service at Sim Lim Square level 6th has been down for almost 2 months. In year 2006
East Asia suffered nearly two months of outages and slow service after an earthquake damaged undersea cables near Taiwan. Even a damaged undersea cable can be fixed within two months period. Therefor, there is not reason you can’t complete your maintenance by now.
Thank you.

And below is the reply he got.

We understand your concerns. As the maintenance we are conducting in comparison to the incident you have made references to the Taiwan earthquake are vastly different, we seek your understanding in this matter.
Thank you.

I must agree with the CS. How can compare wireless@sg with the undersea cable?
For the Taiwan earthquake where the undersea cable broke, they only need to repair broken cables. Pretty straight forward.
For wireless@sg, everything needs to be fixed. From the top level management who decides the wireless@sg policy, the 3 service providers, the backbone and all the way to the routers that is serving the hotspot.
2 months where got enough time to repair everything?