Asian Cities Launch Free WiFi Services

(26 Jun 2008, BWCS Staff)

Just in case there wasn't already enough to lure travellers there, Bangkok is to introduce a network of 15,000 free WiFi hotspots from today. The Thai capital will instantly become one of the world's most WiFi-saturated cities, thanks largely to a government-backed initiative.

The free WiFi service will be trialed for at least twelve months. However, in the first phase the connections will be slow, in most cases running at only around 64Kbps and it is expected to be sufficient for checking e-mails rather than downloading anything more chunky. The service will be free to all residents of the city, though they will need a special card to do access a hotspot. These are currently being distributed by the City authorities.

Meanwhile in China, the City authorities in Beijing have begun a trial operation of a free wireless Internet network. The WiFi system will be available in the areas around Olympic venues, at stadiums, at transportation hubs and at select tourist attractions. Beijing expects to cover most of the city centre with free wireless access by the end of 2009 and to expand it to surrounding areas by 2010.


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