Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and Japan's NTT DoCoMo will shortly begin a three-month free trial of Wi-Fi roaming for their customers.
If the trial - which enabled customers of one operator to use Wi-Fi in the other operator's country - was successful, the two operators would launch a commercial service, SingTel said.
SingTel currently has 230 Wi-Fi hotspots around Singapore, for which customers pay US$0.12 per minute. DoCoMo’s Mzone Wi-Fi service is available at 216 wireless hotspots throughout Tokyo and its vicinity. Customers pay either $US18 per month or $US4.50 per day.
The trial follows an agreement signed by the two carriers last year to co-operate on developing Wi-Fi services. As part of the agreement, the two carriers are developing Wi-Fi roaming diallers that will enable customers to locate hotspots by city and state or in order of proximity.
SingTel has subsidiaries or associate companies in countries in the region such as Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
Based on the results of the trial, DoCoMo hoped to be able to expand its roaming services to those countries, a DoCoMo official said.