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Tue, Mar 09, 2004 - Page 12 News List

SingTel, Japan's DoCoMo to share wireless services

AFP , SINGAPORE

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and Japan's NTT DoCoMo yesterday announced plans for a joint wireless Internet service in both countries.

Customers of both carriers will have roaming access to at least 446 Wi-Fi access points when they travel to the other country, the companies said in a statement.

Both companies expect to launch commercial Wi-Fi roaming services after a free trial period from April to June.

"This joint trial is the result of an agreement SingTel Mobile and DoCoMo signed last year to explore Wi-Fi roaming opportunities," said Hui Weng Cheong, vice president for consumer products at SingTel.

"We are glad that our customers can now test out each operator's service at no extra charge," he said.

Wi-Fi, which provides high-speed wireless Internet, is gaining in popularity in Asia with network access points increasingly available in public places like hotels and cafes.

Wi-Fi uses use radio frequencies to connect users to the Internet through an access point or "hot spot" within a radius of about 150m.

DoCoMo said it hoped the trial with SingTel would lead to an extension of the Japanese company's services to other regional markets to cater to the huge number of Japanese corporate travellers to Asia.

"Many Japanese business users travel to Asian countries," said Kazunori Nonaka, DoCoMo's managing director of cross media business development.

"Based on this trial with SingTel Mobile, we hope to expand our roaming services in the region to include countries such as Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand," he said.

DoCoMo's Wi-Fi service can be accessed through more than 216 hotspots in Tokyo and its vicinity while in Singapore, customers of SingTel has more than 230 wireless surfzones to dial into the Internet.

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