Feeds

ChinaNet bestows free Wi-Fi upon lucky Android few

Shanghai phone booths get souped up

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

ChinaNet, the ISP brand of China Telecom, has launched a public Wi-Fi service in 500 of its Shanghai telephone booths, and while most users will have to pay Android handsets get in for free.

The service launched on 15 March, and covers the Yu Garden, Huaihai Road and the People's Square. ChinaNet helpfully describes the Wi-Fi service in the People's Daily as "18 times faster" than the existing 3G coverage, but it's the decision to provide free connectivity to Android devices using the ChinaNet dialler that has attracted most attention.

"The service should be offered free for all smartphone users regardless of their mobile OS," points out Asian Tech Blog Penn Olson, not unreasonably arguing that all mobile phones should be considered equal.

There has been much talk of tariffs based on the device being connected - laptop users could pay more than those with a tablet, while smartphone users pay less still on the grounds they consume less bandwidth, and so on. But as the categories of device blur together that gets difficult, and it's arguable how effective such a policy would be.

We've asked ChinaNet what's motivated them to give Android users a free ride, and we'll let you know when we hear back. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Will BlackBerry make a comeback with its SQUARE smartphones?
Plus PC PIMs from company formerly known as RIM
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.