[email protected] is a wireless broadband programme developed by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore as part of its Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure initiative, being part of the nation’s 10-year masterplan called Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015).
It will be run and developed in the next two years by three local wireless operators, SingTel, M1 and iCell who will deploy a wireless broadband network in Singapore. Users can enjoy free, both in-door and outdoor seamless wireless broadband access with speeds of up to 512 kbit/s at most public areas under the “basic-tier” package.
The targeted users of this wireless broadband network are broadly classified as “people on the move” – people who require wireless broadband access while away from their homes, schools and offices. These include students, tourists, business travellers and enterprise users such as insurance agents and real estate agents who use widely-available and wireless-enabled devices such as notebook PCs and PDAs. Once connected, users will be able to access all Internet-based services e.g. online gaming, web surfing, instant messaging, VoIP and email.
In addition to the free “basic tier”, there will be a paid “premium tier” for those seeking bandwidth beyond 512 kbit/s, or for connectivity options with higher-quality of service. The three operators have different packages to suit different needs and there is no limit on the number of premium accounts users can sign up for.
On 16 June 2009, the government announced an extension of the programme till March 2013 and enhancement of speed up to 1Mbit/s.
IDA issued a Call-for-Collaboration early 2006 for interested operators to provide such coverage. Late 2006, IDA has accepted the proposals from iCell Network Pte Ltd, QMAX Communications and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, to kick-start the nation’s progressive deployment of a widely-available wireless network by September 2007.
The CFC on Wireless Broadband Market Development has the following two main objectives:
1. To accelerate the deployment of wireless broadband by providing coverage in locations where users out of their homes, schools and offices can conveniently access wireless broadband services using data-centric computing devices.
2. To catalyse the demand for wireless broadband services by increasing the number of wireless broadband users.
On 31 May 2007, Network deployment for all Primary Catchment Areas in all Regions was completed with the Secondary Catchment Areas in all Regions was completed on 30 Sep 2007.
The CFC is scheduled to be completed on 31 Dec 2008.
Accessing and Registration
To connect to the [email protected] wireless broadband network, a user just needs a WiFi-enabled device, such as a laptop computer, PDA or wi-fi enabled mobile phone, and a registered [email protected] account. With this registered account, the user is able to roam within any of [email protected]’s coverage areas, regardless of the operators’ network.
Users are encouraged by the IDA to install and activate a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other encryption mechanism, Personal firewall; and Anti-virus software with the latest signature files. The IDA also encourages users to avoid ad-hoc wireless networking to safeguard their security. [email protected] is powered by the networks of three wireless operators: iCell, QMax and SingTel. Following the announcement on October 10, 2006 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, that Singapore will get to enjoy two years of free wireless broadband connections from January next year, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) announced on November 30, 2006 that the three [email protected] operators have extended this free offering to three years. Users started to enjoy wireless connectivity from December 1, 2006, one month ahead of schedule at selected hotspots.
To gain access to the free basic-tier Wi-Fi connection, with connection speeds of up to 512kbit/s, starting 1 December 2006 users could sign up with any of the three [email protected] network operators. [email protected] is available for all Singaporean residents. Users can sign up with any operator to access all the hotspots in [email protected]
There are various ways users can register for this service:
Online Account Application
Users with access to the Internet can log onto any of the three operators’ websites and complete an online registration form. Alternatively, they can click on the ‘New User Sign Up’ link found on the [email protected] log-in page when they select the [email protected] network at the coverage areas. The account will be activated immediately and a password sent to them via SMS.
Customer Service Centres
Those without mobile phones or online access can visit any of the operators’ customer service centres to register and collect their passwords. Users can also check with their operator of choice for other registration methods.
Visitors to the country can receive free 24 hour [email protected] accounts by calling a computer-operated phone number at SingTel. An SMS with a username and password will be sent shortly afterwards.
To access [email protected], users need to be located within the respective [email protected] coverage areas. The latest coverage areas can be found at Google Earth and at the IDA portal.
In the morning I went to the Indian High Commission, we are trying to add on a few days in India.
The location of the Indian High Commission in Singapore is:
High Commission Of India
31 Grange Road
T: +65 6238 2537
You get a ticket from the machine on the way in
Luckily the wait was not that bad, as a lot of people had taken tickets but could not be bothered waiting.
Once your number shows up on the terminal, it will also tell you which interview room you are in. I walked in, said hello and asked if we could get a visa. As we do not work and reside in Singapore there is no way we can get an Indian visa here….we will have to try getting the visa from another country…….
From previous experience, we have found the best way to see a city is by walking.
So, after breakfast we visited the park
Afterwards we walked through the CBD (central business district)
The poles sticking out, are clothes pole – space is a premium!
Ship on the skyscrapers??!!
The city-state of Singapore has over 4,300 completed high-rises, the majority of which are located in the Downtown Core. In the city, there are 59 skyscrapers that rise higher than 140 metres (459 ft). Three buildings share the title of tallest building in Singapore: United Overseas Bank Plaza One, Republic Plaza and Overseas Union Bank Centre. The three towers, which share the title of 106th-tallest building in the world, are each 280 m (919 ft) tall. There is a height restriction of 280 metres (919 ft) for structures in the central business district (only Raffles Place, Marina Bay Sands, Kallang River, Kallang and Mountbatten) of Singapore because of the proximity of Paya Lebar Airbase.
Singapore’s history of skyscrapers began with the 1939 completion of the 17-storey Cathay Building. The 70-metre (230 ft) structure was, at the time of its completion, the tallest building in Southeast Asia; it was superseded by the 87-metre (285 ft) Asia Insurance Building in 1954, which remained the tallest in Singapore until the 100 m (328 ft) Shaw Centre was completed in 1958. Singapore went through a major building boom in the 1970s and 1980s that resulted from the city’s rapid industrialisation. During this time, the Overseas Union Bank Centre became the tallest building in the city-state; the 280 m (919 ft) structure was also the tallest building in the world outside of North America from its 1986 completion until 1989, when the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong was completed. The skyscraper-building boom continued during the 1990s and 2000s, with 30 skyscrapers at least 140 m (459 ft) tall, many of them residential towers, constructed from 1990 through 2008.
Since 2000, there has been a sharp increase in the number of skyscrapers under construction in the city area, particularly in the Marina Bay district. One project under construction in Marina Centre is the Marina Bay Financial Centre, which includes 3 office towers offering 3 million sq ft of prime Grade A office space, 2 residential developments offering 649 luxurious apartments and a 176,000 sq ft retail mall, named Marina Bay Link Mall. First phase of MBFC was completed in 2010. The second phase which includes MBFC Tower 3 will be ready by 1Q 2012. Marina Bay Suites which is part of Phase 2 will attain TOP in 2013. There are also several new developments in the city’s shopping hub, Orchard Road. The Orchard Residences is an under construction 245 m (804 ft), 43-floor tower being built in conjunction with ION Orchard, a planned shopping mall. In addition, the 218 m (715 ft) Ocean Financial Centre, a planned 43-floor skyscraper, has begun construction in Raffles Place.
We had lunch at
50 Market Street
Golden Shoe Carpark
T: 6844 6868
As the name suggests everything is vegan, people with the coeliac condition please be very careful as some patties DO contain gluten but the owners are not sure. I cannot recommend this place as we both felt a bit worse after eating! The patties seemed to be processed.
We carried on walking through the CBD.
26 degrees C (cooler today) 60% humidity. Still cannot get over it is nearly Christmas!
The rains cool the weather by a couple of degrees
In the evening we went to Katong Gurdwara:
Sri Guru Nanak Sat Sang Sabha Katong Gurdwara
17 Wilkinson Road
T: +65 6348 5125
The sangat here are all either working in good professions or have their own successful businesses. Also they are very much into the Sikh way of life which is great to see. I had to go home as the lunch had taken it’s toll on me. Sangeet stayed on at the Gurdwara. Singapore is a very safe country, a lady traveling alone whatever time of day or night is very safe.
Whilst Sangeet was catching up on some reading, I had a wander into the city centre. I was walking on Orchard Road, when I decided to pop into a work recruitment office to enquire about jobs in Singapore.
There are a few papers I need to email the agency one was a employment letter. Apparently in Singapore once you leave a company, they will give you an employment letter stating how good/bad you were at your work….bit like a school report. Also I popped back to the hostel to pick up the iPad….the one time I do not take it with me, I actually need it. It had my CV/Resume on it. Sangeet wanted to use the iPad so I emailed it to my mobile. After visiting the recruitment office I came back to the hostel.
Around 3pm we popped out to the gurdwara
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha
90/92 Wilkie Road,
T: +65 6337 6301
F +65 6337 5160
E: [email protected]
Suntec City Mall
Sky Garden #03-016 @ Tower two(location of shop within the mall)
T: +65 6238 6755
We could not give a proper review, if we do not try dessert!
Loving Hut is the largest international chain of vegan restaurants. It was founded by Ching Hai, a spiritual leader and entrepreneur from Taiwan. As of December, 2011 there are over 200 Loving Hut stores worldwide. There are restaurants in Asia, Europe, South America, North America and Australia. Every restaurant offers its own specialities and is different, they claimed they want to provide inexpensive, vegan meals to the people.
The Loving Hut marketing slogan is Be Vegan, Make Peace.
It is a thirty minute walk to the restaurant from the hostel. Once we got there we found an Indian vegetarian restaurant next to it. We ordered our meals from Loving Hut and sat down…I felt so guilty for not ordering from the Indian restaurant, especially when the owners were giving me a awful stare…the one where you can just feel some bodies eyes burning through you!
On the way to the restaurant we saw so many beautiful buildings, also Singapore in continually building…..this country just seems to have every major company wanting to move here.
By the way the temperature is around 33 degrees C but feels like 40 and 60% humidity, you start sweating as soon as you walk outside, I love this heat!!
After a late lunch Sangeet caught the MRT to Boon Keng so she could get to the Central Gurdwara early. I walked back to the hostel to tie my turban – yes I know what you are thinking “why was it not already worn!!!”
I decided to save the SGD$1.40 it would have cost me taking the MRT and walked from the hostel to the Gurdwara. The walk was along Selegie road, which turned into Serangoon road, it took me through Little India….aaaargh! Okay I can do this and I did….I had a tunnel vision so just pushed my way through the crowds. It took me thirty minutes to get to the Gurdwara. I was so happy that I managed to conquer Little India and come out with no Dengue Fever! Whilst in Little India I popped into a phone shop to check the price on the iPhone 5, it was SGD$1300. I used the shop calculator to work out the exchange into GBP£ it showed GBP£360?!?! I was puzzled, surely not! I tried again 1300/1.9 = 360!?!? Even the calculator is dodgy!!
At the Gurdwara they had started the Akhand Paath (please see Akhand Paath for information on Akhand Paath)
After a very lazy morning we checked out of the hotel. The rate for tonight would have been SGD$400!
Sangeet looked up the programmes at the Gurdwara, there was a Sukhmani Sahib Paath starting at 2pm. Sukhmani Sahib is the name given to the set of hymns divided into 24 sections which appear in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy Scriptures on ang 262. Each section, which is called an Ashtpadi(asht means 8), consists of 8 hymns per Ashtpadi. The word Sukhmani literally means Peace in your mind. This set of Hymns or Bani is very popular among the Sikhs, who frequently recite it in their places of worship called Gurdwaras and at home. The full recital takes about 90 minutes and is normally undertaken by everyone in the congregation.
Central Sikh Temple
2 Towner Road
T+ 65 6299 3855
F + 65 6296 1921
Email: [email protected]
In 1912, with the assistance of a Sindhi merchant named Wassiamull, a group of Sikhs bought a bungalow with a large compound at 175 Queen Street and turned it into a gurdwara. The gurdwara became known as the Central Sikh Temple when other temples were established. It was also known as the Wadda Gurdwara (‘The Big Temple’).
The temple was reconstructed in 1921. The congregation hall was on the first floor and the kitchen and other facilities on the ground floor. It is the custom for Sikh temples to provide food and lodging to travellers.
In 1937, the government decided to set up a corporate board of trustees for the temple. In 1940, the Queen Street Gurdwara Ordinance was enacted. It provided for a board of trustees named the Queen Street Gurdwara Board of Trustees (Incorporated) made up of equal numbers of nominees from the Majha, Malwa and Doabha factions of the congregation.
In 1925, rivalry for leadership amongst the factions led them to form their own gurdwaras. Today, these gurdwaras are registered as societies and only two Sikh temples are recognised as public temples. The Central Sikh Temple remains the main temple for all Sikhs. The Silat Road temple which is also managed by the Central Sikh Temple is the other recognised public temple.
In 1959, plans for a new temple and the move away from Queen Street to a new site in Newton were formed. There were factions in the congregation that preferred to remain in Queen Street. An adjoining plot of land with nine houses on it was purchased for $100,000. The plans for the new temple here were approved by the Government in 1963. However, it was never built due to internal disagreement.
In 1976, the land adjoining the temple site was acquired by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. A year later, the land on which the temple stood was acquired. In December 1979, the temple was vacated and was temporarily housed in the former Bukit Ho Swee Community Centre at Seng Poh Road.
Plans for a new temple in Towner Road were conceived in 1983. Its construction began in 1984 and was completed in April 1986. The Central Sikh Temple at Towner Road was officially opened in November that year.
We decided to take the taxi, which are fairly cheap in Singapore, plus we were having a lazy day!
The Gurdwara is very beautiful and the Paath was recited with love.
Afterwards we took the MRT back from Boon Keng MRT to Orchard.
The Mass Rapid Transit or MRT is a rapid transit system forming the major component of the railway system in Singapore, spanning the entire city-state. The initial section of the MRT, between Yio Chu Kang and Toa Payoh, opened in 1987, making it the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, after Manila’s LRT System. The network has since grown rapidly in accordance with Singapore’s aim of developing a comprehensive rail network as the backbone of the public transport system in Singapore, with an average daily ridership of 2.406 million in 2011, approximately 71% of the bus network’s 3.385 million in the same period.
The MRT network has 102 stations with 148.9 km (92.52 mi) of lines in operation, on standard gauge. The lines are built by the Land Transport Authority, a statutory board of the Government of Singapore, which allocates operating concessions to the profit-based corporations, SMRT Corporation and SBS Transit. These operators also run bus and taxi services, thus facilitating full integration of public transport services. The MRT is complemented by a small number of regional Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems in Bukit Panjang, Sengkang and Punggol that link MRT stations with HDB public housing estates. Services operate from about 5:30 am and usually end before 1 a.m. daily with intervals of approximately three to eight minutes, and services extended during festive periods such as Chinese New Year.
Fantastic street decorations
Everybody in the MRT was glued to their phones. I would have been but could not log onto the free wifi!
The MRT journey costs SGD$2.40, you get a plastic ticket:
Once you start your journey you swipe the plastic ticket against the entry onto platform machine and it deducts SGD$1.40. Once you have completed your journey you deposit the ticket and it gives you a SGD$1.00 refund. Such a fantastic idea.
Orchard Road is lit up elaborately nearer the end of every year for the Christmas festive season.
Orchard Road is a 2.2 kilometre-long street that is the retail and entertainment hub of Singapore. It is a major tourist attraction, in addition to being the most popular shopping enclave in the city-state. Often, the surrounding area is known simply as Orchard, partly because the MRT station that serves the vicinity is named Orchard.
The Orchard Planning Area is one of 55 urban planning areas as specified by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and is a commercial district. It is part of the Central Region, and Singapore’s central business district, the Central Area.
Orchard Road underwent a $40 million revamp in 2009, with the addition of new street lamps, planter boxes, urban green rooms, street tiling and flower totem poles, which have since been removed.
On the way to the hostel, which was again by taxi, Sangeet noticed a Gurdwara two houses away! What a fantastic blessing, to be so close to the Gurdwara.
Once we checked in and dropped off the bags, we walked over to the Gurdwara.
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha
90/92 Wilkie Road,
T: +65 6337 6301
F +65 6337 5160
E: [email protected]
Gurdwara Sahib Sri Guru Singh Sabha is one of the oldest Sikh institutions in Singapore established by the early immigrant Sikh community in 1918.
The first building was located close to the old Central Sikh Temple at Queens Street. The congregation used rented premises until the property at 90 Wilkie Road was acquired in 1932. Extensive structural changes were made to prepare the congregational hall on the first floor. In 1968 an adjoining plot of land was purchased for the construction of an entirely new premises. Construction on this new building began in 1978 and was completed in 1980. The new gurdwara was declared officially opened in 1984. The old premises was converted into a ‘jangh ghar’ where receptions for wedding events were held for a short period. This use for the old building was discontinued and has since been converted to a Gurmat Parchar Centre for use by the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Youth Wing for Sikhi parchar and as accomodations for residential camps (samelans) during schools holidays.
Guess who’s coming to town:
Afterwards we decided to have a wander to Little India, which is about twenty minutes walk. In Singapore it has been very very clean, peaceful, quiet, superb. As soon as you ‘enter’ Little India you see a warning sign “dengue fever alert”. The area is exactly like India. Cars beeping, massive crowds, very dirty streets….I am not surprised there is a dengue fever alert. This was a total assault on my senses. I hated the place. Sangeet wants to add on India to this trip, I am not sure I could handle it! On entering Little India I saw a line of mice moving out, even they were looking for a better area to live!!!
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!