4G surfing on MRT for SingTel users

SINGAPORE - Mobile connection woes at MRT stations and in trains will soon be over for SingTel users.

The telco said last Friday that it has completed network upgrades along the North-East Line, which stretches from HarbourFront to Punggol.

The telco has also improved its mobile signals along parts of the Circle Line, which runs from Pasir Panjang and Botanic Gardens to Nicoll Highway.

Specifically, 12 out of the 29 Circle Line stations - from HarbourFront to Caldecott - now provide stronger 3G connections and allow the use of the faster 4G network.

The upgraded 3G system allows users to surf the Internet at speeds of up to 42Mbps, while the 4G network takes that up to 150Mbps.

Previously, 4G surfing was not available in the MRT's underground network, with users automatically switching to 3G instead. Upgrades along the North- South Line and East-West Line are still ongoing.

SingTel said it is also working with train operator SMRT for more maintenance sessions to speed up the upgrading. The work in train stations and along tracks take a long time as it can be done only during the few hours a day when trains are not in operation.

The network boost is part of a new investment that SingTel is making to speed up mobile surfing islandwide - including in some 90 buildings like malls, hospitals and hotels by the middle of next year - to meet consumers' growing demand for mobile data.

More than a third of these buildings - including Anchorpoint, Mustafa Centre and Pan Pacific Singapore - are now equipped with the advanced 3G and 4G systems.

The locations were chosen based on feedback from users that poured in via SingTel's website and its MySingTel smartphone app. In the past two months, the app has been letting users indicate 3G weak spots via their phones.

The investment, the price of which has not been revealed, is in addition to similar efforts taken throughout last year which cost the telco $150 million. This included its rollout of the 4G network, covering 95 per cent of Singapore - including 800 outdoor locations and 550 indoor sites - which was completed in April this year.

SingTel was the second telco to achieve nationwide 4G coverage, after M1 in September last year. StarHub hit 95 per cent coverage for its 4G network in October.

M1 and StarHub's 4G networks have been extended to the underground MRT networks, with major stations like Bishan, Buona Vista, Dhoby Ghaut and Holland Village hooked on 4G.

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