Shanghai phone booths given WiFi
[ 2011-02-25 11:14 ]
A total of 500 public telephone booths in downtown Shanghai have been equipped with WiFi hotspots to enable the city to go wireless, bringing new life to the almost abandoned public phone booths.
The move reflects the popularity of mobile communication and the booths will provide a variety of community services such as mobile phone bill payment. In the future the booths might even function as photo printing studios.
The idea was first inspired by the multi-function information stations provided by China Telecom's Shanghai branch during Expo 2010 Shanghai, said Zou Jinqiu, a manager at the Shanghai branch of China Telecom.
"Once these WiFi hotspots start to work, a major part of the city will be covered seamlessly by wireless signals," she added.
The WiFi hotspots will be initially installed in central business areas such as Yuyuan Garden, Yanzhong Park and People's Square, and will be expanded to cover the whole urban area and some suburbs, the company said. China Telecom did not give details on the timeline for the process.
With all public phone booths providing strong wireless signals, people will be able to surf the Net within 50 meters of the booths by paying 0.03 yuan per minute.
"I do appreciate this upgrade," said Cui Qi, a 29-year-old high school math teacher. Cui regularly uses mobile wireless communications, relying on GPRS and EDGE (enhanced data rate for GSM evolution) systems on the current 2G network.
"These hotspots will provide faster access," Cui said. "And previously such a WiFi service could only be obtained at cafes and hotels."
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.