Shanghai to provide free Wi-Fi

Shanghai plans to offer service at 30 locations initially but this will increase to 450 by end-2013 as city government aims to transform it to a smart city.

Shanghai plans to provide free city-wide Wi-Fi coverage by the end of 2013 even as the city government pushes it toward smart city status.

According to a report by People's Daily on Wednesday, Shanghai residents can access the free wireless service for two hours each day at 30 locations initially. These locations include the Shanghai Train Station, the Bund, the Riverside Promenade, and Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, it added. 

By end-2012, this service will be extended to 300 locations, while another 150 hotspots will be added in the next year, the report says. 

The People's Daily noted the Wi-Fi service is part of the city government's move toward transforming the Chinese city into a smart city, and it will cover the cost for setting up the coverage. 

In April, China's capital Beijing started providing free Internet access on its public buses.