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Japan railway firm to roll out free Wi-Fi

East Japan Railway will commence wireless local area network service on Oct. 1, following requests to offer greater Internet connectivity to foreign visitors in the country.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

East Japan Railway (JR) says it will begin a free public Wi-Fi service to provide Internet access in selected stations around the city of Tokyo.

The wireless local area network (LAN) service, which commences on Oct. 1, was set up in response to calls from tourists to provide an environment of Internet connectivity for visitors in the country, The Japan Times reported on Thursday.

The service will be accessed through its Travel Service Center, which opens on Oct. 1 and is located in its Tokyo station, similar centers at Tokyo Monorail's Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, and 13 JR East stations, including Tokyo, Shinjuku and Akihabara.

Stickers will be displayed in places to indicate areas where it is possible to connect to the Internet. The service can be accessed within a 50-meter radius of the sticker. Once users register their e-mail address, they can connect as many times as they like and up to three hours at a time.

Registration can be made in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. The free Wi-Fi service is also available to locals.

Other Asian countries, too, have worked on expanding and improving their public Wi-Fi services. The Singapore government, for instance, issued a call for collaboration (CFC) last week to deploy the next phase of the country's free public Wi-Fi service, called Wireless@SG.

Chinese capital Beijing also expanded its free public Wi-Fi hotspots to a total of 11 areas and extended it as a three-year free-Wi-Fi service.

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