Mayor Isko launches free WiFi, charging kiosk in Manila

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2019 09:05 PM | Updated as of Aug 15 2019 12:30 AM

Photo from Mayor Isko Moreno's official Facebook page 

MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday unveiled a kiosk that serves as a free WiFi hotspot, charging station and phone booth outside the Manila City Hall, the latest upgrade to the park surrounding the capital’s seat of power.

The ISKOnek, powered by Eastern Communications, can serve 100 users at a time, Moreno told reporters.

Each user can connect for 30 minutes before he or she is “kicked out of the system” so other people can connect, he said.

“Connectivity now is a necessity. Ito yung tipong ‘pag nawalan ka ng data o load (when you run out of data or load), you can use it,” he said.

People take pictures of the newly launched ISKOnek WiFi Kiosk near the Manila City Hall on Wednesday George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

People gather near the newly launched kiosk. Mayor Isko Moreno said, the kiosk allows people to use WiFi and phone services even if they no longer have prepaid load. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

A man charges his phone at the ISKOnek WiFi kiosk, which features free WiFi hotspot, charging station, and phone booth, on Wednesday. If successful, the city says it will put up 50 more kiosks with high foot traffic around Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

During the launch, the kiosk's WiFi speeds reached up to 80 mbps. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The ISKOnek kiosk allows people to chat with frienda and loved ones abroad via social messaging apps. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The ISKOnek's WiFi signal is visible on a smartphone. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The kiosk allows for 100 users at any one time with a time limit of 30-minutes to allow others to use it. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The fiber-powered system is equipped with charging ports and can also be used to make free landline calls. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

In the future, an emergency button, which will alert a command center inside the city hall, will be integrated into the system said the mayor. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The kiosk’s WiFi speed can reach up to 80 mbps, according to initial tests done by the media.

LANDLINE CALLS

The fiber-powered system is equipped with charging ports and can also be used to make free landline calls, Moreno said.

Overseas calls can be made via the kiosk through social messaging apps, he said.

Closed-circuit television cameras were placed on top of the kiosk’s back-to-back LED screens to provide some level of security, the mayor said.

In the future, an emergency button, which will alert a command center inside the city hall, will be integrated into the system, he said.

The concept was taken from WiFi phone booths in Manhattan, New York, Moreno said.

Eastern Communications and the city government will monitor its speed and efficiency for a few weeks, Moreno said.

If successful, the city will put up 50 more kiosks in areas with high foot traffic like hospitals and schools, said the mayor.