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Surfing speeds on the free Wireless@SG public Wi-Fi service will be more than doubled to 5Mbps by the end of this year.

The number of Wireless@SG hot spots will also be doubled to 20,000 by 2018 to better complement telcos' 4G networks in meeting rising demand for mobile broadband.

"We must build first-class infrastructure for pervasive, seamless and high speed connectivity to benefit citizens and businesses," Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister of State for Communications and Information, told Parliament.

Some Members of Parliament had asked if there were plans to improve the surfing speeds of Wireless@SG. Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) said: "Today's Wireless@SG speeds are slower in performance than what our 4G mobile networks provide."

Dr Janil said Wireless@SG is already faster than most public Wi-Fi services around the world. But because demand is increasing, there is a need to boost current speeds.

With the upgrade, Wireless@SG speeds will be faster than existing 3G speeds, he said. Singapore will also be the densest hot spot city in the world, calculated by the number of hot spots per inhabitant. Singapore now trails only Tokyo.

"But it is not the connectivity that makes us smart; it is what we do with it," said Dr Janil.

"Operators can also use Wireless@SG to offer improved services such as cashless payment and location-based analytics. All this benefits consumers, businesses and productivity."

Coverage expansion will target congested places such as hospitals, government buildings and community centres.

More Parliament reports


By the numbers 3,890

The estimated number of wild tigers in the world, up from an all-time low of 3,200 in 2010, according to the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum. This is the first time the count has gone up since 1900, when there were 100,000 tigers, AFP reports. In 2010, the 13 countries with tiger populations - Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam - launched a plan to double the number by 2022. Their ministers are meeting in Delhi to discuss the conservation efforts.