Beijing to Go Wireless by 2009

One sixth of Beijing city is now covered by free WiFi service till the end of the Beijing Olympics this August. Beijing is leading 29 Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, to go wireless in the couple of years.

Tryout WiFi and WiMax signals are now available in the city's key financial and business districts as well as university and research areas. The whole city, with a rough size of 625 square kilometers, will be covered by the wireless service by 2009.

The infrastructure contractor CECT-ChinaComm Communications Co. promised to provide free wireless service through the end of the Beijing Olympics. After the Olympics, subscribers have to pay less than what ADSL subscribers currently pay for a monthly package rate at 120 RMB yuan ($17) for unlimited wireless access each month in the city.

I tried the free WiFi at some access points in town. In the Zhongguancun area, where harbors the country's most prestigious universities and research institutes, the wireless speed was usually fine. But in areas in east city, the accessibility was sometimes bad. In my office in a downtown area which is included in the wireless services, I didn't get any signal. I was by no means upset with the free service. Anyway, I have four different ways to get myself Interneted.



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