Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wi Wait?

SBSTransit reportedly plan to install internet access points in it train stations so that commuters can surf the internet for free. But the caveat is that once you get onto their trains, you are on your own. No internet signal will be available inside the train. In this case, you will likely have to switch back to your 3G or 4G data plans.

If this is the case, I find this exercise a waste of time and resource. No commuter wants to stay a second more in the station if he has a choice. The shorter the wait for the next train, the better. So who really would benefit from the free Wi-Fi? And even if the WiFi proves useful, it will be short-lived and ultimately useless.

It appears from reports that the real reason for this largesse is data collection more than anything else, This can be quite sinister, especially when the user is not informed of what is going on behind the scene. But maybe I am reading too much into this. Maybe the train company has nothing but good intentions. But as it stands, this is really a half-baked idea.

Go the full distance, I say, just like what Hong Kong and Japan have done. Make whatever you invest in useful to your customers.

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