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Shanghai is on course to become a smart city by boasting the country's highest number of 3G network cellphone users and the most concentrated wireless signal coverage, among other key indicators that define a digital hub.
Those are the key findings of Smart City Shanghai Development Report, released by Xinhua News Agency last week.
The city is now home to 6.3 million 3G users under three different networks, 2.2 times the number in 2010, the report said.
China's three telecom operators have pulled together to expand the city's Wi-Fi hotspots to 15,600 by the end of December, more than doubling the number in 2010.
The city has pledged to accelerate the deployment of the wireless local area network, or WLAN, with the highest density nationwide of 115,000 access points, blanketing millions of square meters of city buildings, transport hubs, shopping districts and universities.
Under the auspices of the municipal government, the three operators facilitated building hotspots under the unanimous token "i-shanghai". Cellphone users can be directed to the signal in 140 major public places and enjoy two hours' free Internet surfing.
According to Xu Da, general manager of China Mobile Group Shanghai, the company expects to invest 13 billion yuan ($2.05 billion) over three years to deploy seamless mobile connections under a deal signed with the municipal government in 2011.
It has so far set up more than 40,000 WLAN access points in the densely dotted city hubs, and the number is set to triple in two years.
(China Daily 12/11/2012 page4)