China Mobile offers free WLAN service

Updated: 2011-09-13 10:41

By He Wei (

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Mobile phone users of China Mobile Ltd’s network in Shanghai will benefit from a two-month free Wi-Fi surfing service, as the country’s largest telecommunications operator accelerates the deployment of its high-speed wireless broadband network.

From Nov 1 to Dec 31, mobile Internet users of China Mobile can get free access to an all-round wireless local area network (WLAN) in the city's hotspots where wireless signals are heavily concentrated, the company said in a statement.

By the end of 2011, WLAN hotspots provided by China Mobile will exceed 6,000, covering 5 million square meters of city buildings, including transport hubs, shopping districts, and public services. Currently Wi-Fi signals are available in Hongqiao and Pudong airports, Starbucks, universities, five-star hotels, among others.

Subscribers simply need to type in the phone number to China Mobile's WLAN web portal and receive a temporary password for authentication. The procedure takes less than one minute and is once for all.

The Shanghai subsidiary of China Mobile currently has some 12 million mobile Internet users, but only 1.5 million of them opt for surfing through WLAN signals. The move reflects part of the company's effort to bridge the digital divide and its bid to turn Shanghai into a 'smart city'.

The company signed an agreement with the Shanghai Municipal government in August to boost wireless coverage across the city in the coming three years. It will invest a total of 13 billion yuan to integrate its GSM, TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE and WLAN wireless networks. It plans to build 90,000 WLAN access points by 2013, ensuring its subscribers to enjoy seamless roaming.