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Gadgets & Home Improvement

NUS extends Wi-Fi reach through campus buses

About half of shuttle bus fleet outfitted with 3G routers since February as part of university network upgrade. BRYANT CHAN reports
The Straits Times - April 24, 2013
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NUS extends Wi-Fi reach through campus buses

Commuters on the National University of Singapore's campus shuttle buses have been enjoying Wi-Fi since February.

So far, 19 of the 37 shuttle buses in NUS have been outfitted with 3G routers, providing intranet and Internet access on the move.

It is currently the only university campus in Singapore to offer this feature.

"We believe in giving our students and staff a unified and consistent user experience, whether they are moving from class to class or around campus," said Mr Tommy Hor, senior director of the NUS Computer Centre, which manages IT infrastructure for the university.

"Connectivity is almost a basic necessity now," he added, noting that the use of mobile devices on campus was becoming increasingly pervasive.

Students have given the feature the thumbs-up.

"I can use the Wi-Fi on the bus to check where my class is, or if I have any last-minute things to prepare for," said Ms Priscilla Yang, 20, a second-year communications and new media student.

Mr Zhang Si Liang, 23, a third-year industrial engineering student, prefers Wi-Fi to 3G now.

"It helps students communicate with one another, and it's faster than using 3G."

NUS also intends to use the routers to monitor shuttle bus movements and thus, provide real-time arrival estimates on display panels at bus stops.

NUS and Cisco are currently assessing the viability of equipping the entire fleet of shuttle buses with 3G routers in future. The new routers come as part of NUS' extensive wireless network upgrade in collaboration with networking technology company Cisco and local wireless service provider NCS.

Since early 2011, 3,200 wireless access points have been implemented across the Kent Ridge and Bukit Timah campuses, making it the largest wireless environment for an educational institution in South-east Asia.

bryantc@sph.com.sg

 

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