[photopress:IT_wifi_Beijing.jpg,full,alignright]Visitors to Beijing for the Olympics are not going to get, as promised, 3G service on their cellphones, but it is promised Wi-Fi will be widely available, and it will be free of charge.
China Communications, working with the Beijing city government, has launched the first phase of its Beijing WiCity, providing free wireless Internet access in select districts throughout the city (shaded orange on the illustration).
The plan is to provide free Wifi over a 100 square kilometer area through the Olympics an this will be the biggest Wi-Fi network in China. From there it will expand by next year to 625 square kilometers next year and by 2010 Beijing’s entire city center and the rural areas surrounding the city will be covered.
Tests so far have not been overly encouraging with the Beijing office of the Wall Street Jornal, located within a covered area, only one bar of signal was detected and it wasn’t possible to connect. Media blog Danwei reported access trouble, and a Sina.com report noted that in Beijing’s hi-tech district, Zhongguancun, the signal only worked outdoors.
[photopress:it_wife_beijing.JPG,full,alignleft]Sadly, there will be no 3G cellular service except perhaps that based in testing mode on TD-SCDMA, the home standard, despite past pledges from officials. Since China hasn’t issued any 3G licenses for networks using the two international kinds of 3G technology, the networks haven’t been built.
The government has said that 3G services using China’s homegrown TD-SCDMA technology will be available in time for the Games — but overseas visitors phones are not compatible with that standard.
Source: Wall Street Journal Blog