South Korea to install free Wi-Fi on all city buses

Around 23,000 buses operating within South Korean cities will have Wi-Fi installed onto them by December.

South Korea will offer free Wi-Fi to all in-city buses across the country for passengers, the country's IT ministry has said.

The Ministry of Science and ICT announced the project will kick off on Friday, starting with the city of Gwangju. 

Gwangju was chosen as the first city to receive Wi-Fi on its city buses as it will be hosting the FINA World Championships in July.

The ministry's goal will to be install public Wi-Fi on around 23,000 city buses nationally by December, which accounts for 86% of all city buses in South Korea, saying the project would lessen household telecom bills and improve access to internet for all citizens.

The remaining 14% of city buses, around 5,000, are expected to receive free Wi-Fi sometime next year when additional budget for the project is approved, the ministry said.  

See also: SK Telecom and Seoul government to install 5G ADAS on buses and cabs  

KT, the country's second-largest mobile carrier, has been signed on as the vendor for the project.

The ministry began running a pilot trial for the project in May and has so far installed Wi-Fi on 4,200 out of the 23,000 buses. 

Buses with the public Wi-Fi installed will have stickers notifying passengers of its availability. The network name will be PublicWiFi@Bus_Free. 

South Korea is one of the most connected countries in the world, with free Wi-Fi available on subways and landmarks across the nation.

The country's 5G network went live in early April, claiming the title of being the "world's first" 5G network to go live.

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