This is significant for a country that is already one of the most well-wired countries in the world.
On December 23, 2009 the Korean Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) announced that there will be wireless hotspots in all 23 Korea Train eXpress (KTX) train stations. For those who don’t know the KTX is South Korea’s speed train, which can get travelers from Seoul to Busan in around three hours.
This deal is the result of a deal between Korea Telecom (KT) and Korail. This deal will encourage business travelers to take advantage of the fast KTX connections between South Korean towns and cities. It will also be a welcome relief for travelers who don’t want to journey out of the Korail stations to local Internet cafes.
This will also be a great boost to KT, which is South Korea’s second largest mobile telephone company. The free wifi hotspots will support KT’s “Qook & Show” service. This will allow mobile subscribers with wifi-enabled phones to switch from mobile networks to fixed-line networks. This happens through what is called a fixed mobile convergence service (FMC).
This clearly benefits users, as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services charge significantly less for voice minutes than conventional wireless services.
KT will also establish outlets at the five major train stations of Seoul, Yongsan, Daejeon, East Daegu and Busan for customers to test and purchase the latest electronic gadgets that work on KT’s fixed-line, mobile and Internet networks.
This is a great deal all around for KT which already has an incredible level of service. This is also probably a really smart move for KT as they already have the most wifi hotspots in South Korea.
KT’s 13,000 Wi-Fi “hot zones” around the country currently account for most of the Wi-Fi APs (access points) in the nation. The company plans to expand its Wi-Fi zones to 50,000 or 60,000 by the end of next year, marking its first major expansion since 2005.
The only downside? They didn’t announce a date for when these free hotspots would be up and running. However, if installation is done at the usual speed that they do these things in South Korea, it should be up and running sooner rather than later. This will make the train stations as convenient as South Korea’s Incheon airport in terms of Internet connectability.
Source: The Korea Times – Train Stations to Have Wireless Internet Zones