China's capital city, Beijing, is looking to build a significant number of free Wi-Fi hotspots across major city areas such as shopping centers and subway stations as part of the government's move to spur greater Internet use among city residents.
Beijing began offering free Wi-Fi across seven of the city's districts at the end of last month. The networks are designed to serve as a public utility for residents. The hotspots are free but they do come with requirements. Users must first register with the Wi-Fi network using their mobile phone numbers. A text message is then sent to them providing them with a password that gives them three hours of online time.
China's three state-owned telecom operators are managing the networks, and the government is compensating the operators for the network costs.
- see this Techworld article
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