People in the Pearl River Delta cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan might soon be able to surf the Internet using a unified wireless network, provincial authorities have said.
Nanfang Daily reported Wednesday that the provincial information industry department has completed a report on the construction of a wireless city group in the region, and it has been approved by the respective provincial governments.
"Construction of a wireless city group entails coordinated planning and gradual promotion. It needs to define the role of each government and their work divisions," Wang Wei, a deputy director of the department's administration office, was quoted as saying.
Details about costs and date of construction are not yet available.
Liang Qi, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University, said construction of a wireless city group will sharpen the competitive edge of the area.
"The provincial authorities have reached a consensus that the Pearl River Delta cities should be integrated to strengthen its foothold in global competition. Wireless infrastructure and services are necessary in the digital age," he said.
Qin Zhiqiang, deputy secretary of WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure) Industry Alliance, an organization promoting local industry standards, said the role of the local governments is to plan and balance the interests of all for sustainable development of the wireless city group.
"Profitability is crucial for sustainable development of the sector," he said.
Several cities in China have begun construction of wireless networks, and some of them like Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou have already begun trial operations.
In Beijing, a wireless service is now available in areas within the Third Ring Road via terminals with WiFi or WiMax functionality. It is expected to cover areas within the Fifth Ring Road by the end of the year, and the whole city by 2010.