Now arriving: Fast subway Wi-Fi

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Now arriving: Fast subway Wi-Fi

The free internet on subways will get much faster.

LG U+ said Tuesday it will provide free Wi-Fi based on LTE inside subway cars for the first time. Its rivals SK Telecom and KT don’t provide such service.

Free internet has been available on subways, but hardly anybody relied on it due to its slow speed.

Currently, Wi-Fi based only on Wireless Broadband (Wibro), a homegrown network technology that is inferior to LTE in terms of speed and coverage, is available except in select passenger cars.

LG U+ has provided LTE-based Wi-Fi in subway stations but is expanding the area to include trains as well.

“LTE-based Wi-Fi enables much faster transmission of data than Wibro-based service,” said a spokesman from LG U+. “It will allow passengers on the subway to stream videos and watch mobile TV without any connection problem.”

To provide the service, LG U+ established 16,000 base stations around the country and began enabling the service after the Lunar New Year. The service was first applied to Seoul subway lines No. 1 to 8. The service is also available on Busan subways on lines No. 1 to 4. The service is also available on the Airport Railroad.

Users of LG U+ network will be able to use the service after going through a quick approval process on their phones.

The mobile carrier is planning to expand the service in the coming weeks.

The service will be available on Seoul subway line No. 9 as well as on subways running through Daejeon, Gwangju and Daegu this month.

In order to secure wide coverage while not jeopardizing connection quality, LG U+ will set up 30,000 additional base stations this year.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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