By 2020, you will be able to use Wi-Fi for free anywhere you go while riding public transportation in Seoul. Also, people who go jogging to large parks like Seoul Forest or Yeouido Park can now listen to their favorite music on YouTube without the burden of incurring additional mobile data fees.
With the smartphone distribution rate of Seoulites amounting to 95 percent, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has plans to double the number of public Wi-Fi terminals to 20,000 units by the end of 2019.
First of all, the SMG will create a Wi-Fi network encompassing all green and blue buses, red buses and town shuttle buses. Once the public communication network is available in every bus, which was once a dead zone of public Wi-Fi, commuters will have access to wireless Internet for free on any public transportation vehicle, including the subway, where private Wi-Fi networks are installed.
The SMG will build a public Wi-Fi network that will include a total of 7,405 buses running in Seoul by 2020, increasing the distribution rate of Wi-Fi from 3.6 percent to 100 percent. The number of the buses indicates the sum of 6,000 green and blue buses and 1,405 red buses. The Wi-Fi network will be installed in green and blue buses by December 2019 and in red buses by 2020.
The free Wi-Fi service will benefit not only Seoulites but also all the passengers living in the capital area who commute to Seoul.
All the town shuttle buses, which carry 118,000 passengers a day, will also be equipped with the public Wi-Fi network by October 2019. The total number reaches 1,499 vehicles of 235 lines. When the free Wi-Fi service is expanded to the town shuttle buses, Seoul will become the first metropolitan city in the country with a public Wi-Fi network.
Bus stops are another target where the SMG will build up the new public Wi-Fi network. The plan is to establish terminals of the Wi-Fi network at 358 median bus lanes by 2019 and 2,000 bus stops on the roadside by 2020.
Additionally, the SMG will install the public Wi-Fi network in 24 large public parks (over 100,000㎡) managed by the city itself by 2020, to expand the use of the free Wi-Fi service in the daily life of citizens. A total of 300 Wi-Fi hosts are to be installed.
As part of the efforts to bridge the digital divide, the SMG plans to make the public Wi-Fi service accessible in local community facilities that are frequently visited by disadvantaged groups in terms of access to information, such as local welfare centers, facilities for the elderly and the handicapped, and youth shelters. While 101 welfare facilities will be equipped with the public Wi-Fi service at first, the number will increase to 300 through the year 2019.