Seoul to become free WiFi city

09-Oct-2019 Intellasia | | 2:05 PM Print This Post

Wherever people travel in Seoul, they will stay WiFi connected, after the Seoul Metropolitan government announced a plan Monday to provide free WiFi networks in all public facilities by 2022.

In addition, the city also seeks to extend the presence of the internet of things services such as a smart parking systems and safety services.

The city government is set to invest 102.7 billion won ($85.8 million) over the next three years for its Smart Seoul Network project, a plan to directly offer wireless internet to citizens and visitors rather than relying on telecom firms’ networks. However, individual households, schools, factories and warehouses are excluded from the plan.

In 2011, Seoul City started providing free WiFi in all its building, 25 districts offices and densely populated areas such as traditional markets and parks ― the first of its kind by any local government.

“Current public WiFi service covers 31 percent of Seoul, but the plan is expected to increase the coverage to 100 percent,” Lee Weon-mok, an official in charge of smart city policies, said in a press briefing.

To that end, the metropolitan government plans to set up 23,750 wireless access points by 2022, tripling the number from the current 7,420.

For residents to experience the expanded service as early as possible, the access points will be first established at public areas such as bus stops, traffic facilities and other existing structures.

In addition, Seoul said the WiFi networks will be equipped with “WiFi 6″ technology, the next generation standard, to maintain internet speed, stability and security, ruling out the stereotype that free WiFi means low quality.

Seoul also expects that the free service will bridge the digital divide.

According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, there is a gulf in mobile monthly data use between subscribers to unlimited data plans and those on limited plans of more than 20 gigabytes.

The city estimates that the plan, when completed, will cut annual mobile fees by a combined 3.87 trillion won for around 6.12 million users.

The project will also allow the local government to offer various IOT-related services.

The IoT-based shared parking system will help smartphone users check availability at public parking lots; and the technology will also be useful to track missing senior citizens and children.

In the IoT all tangible objects are connected to the internet and can identify themselves to other devices in order to exchange data, with smartphones playing a crucial part in the management of other devices.


Category: Korea

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