Now you don’t need a SIM card to automatically access Singapore’s free Wi-Fi

Image credit: Prasit Rodphan /

Singapore’s free Wi-Fi service, [email protected], has undergone enhancements that extend automatic login to non-SIM devices, a move which will eliminate the need for usernames and passwords, according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Previously, automatic login to [email protected] worked for mobile devices with SIM cards by using the EAP-SIM authentication framework. This login method, which removes the need for usernames and passwords, improves security and allows users to be verified through their SIM cards – which means they can connect to [email protected] hotspots seamlessly and automatically every time they’re near one.

Now, the IMDA says, users with non-SIM devices – including tablets and laptops – can enjoy the same convenience by downloading an enhanced [email protected] app.

Unveiled at Tech Saturday (Upsized!), IMDA’s annual technology carnival to mark the start of Smart Nation Innovations week, the app will guide users through a one-time setup that will only require their NRIC/FIN and mobile numbers. They will then receive an OTP sent via SMS to complete the setup.

Users who prefer logging in to [email protected] through their browsers will also find the process more streamlined, the IMDA says. They only need to enter their mobile numbers to receive an OTP to complete the login process.

Currently, about 90% of [email protected] users already use automatic login via their mobile devices. IMDA expects the enhancements to benefit at least 180,000 users who have been using tablets and laptops to access [email protected]

Meanwhile, broadband service provider MyRepublic has joined the pool of operators offering [email protected] Other operators supporting the service include M1, SingTel, StarHub and Y5ZONE.

“A digital economy needs pervasive connectivity that is fast, reliable and secure, and [email protected] is one of the projects that will help IMDA realise this vision,” said IMDA chief executive Tan Kiat How. “We are pleased to welcome a fifth operator on board, and we expect this would help us to deploy more hotspots more quickly in our effort to expand the [email protected] network.”

[email protected] was launched in December 2006 with 900 hotspots running at a max speed of 512 kbps. Today, there are 10,000 hotspots running at 5 Mbps in public spaces like train stations, libraries, shopping malls and restaurants. IMDA says it is on track to double its network of hotspots to 20,000 by 2018, reaching more locations such as public hospitals, hawker centers and government service centers.

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