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Internet cafe on public bus? A reality in Korea

Posted: November 7th, 2008, by Yunho Chung

To stay connected and have internet access on the run is something that have been opened for a merely few. Free internet access on airports, cafés, and public transportation is something the world has been anticipating for years, but is it possible in reality for anyone?

In Digital Korea it is not a possibility anymore, because now it is the reality.

In Korea free internet access at the airport, cafés, and restaurants are widely spread, and with the projected success of WiBro, the internet access in taxis and public transportations are expected to be provided in an even wider range in the country.

WiBro is the Korean version of mobile WiMax. KT1 (www.kt.co.kr) launched Wibro service in Korea in 2006.  Wibro is an internet connection that offers an aggregate data throughput of 30 to 50 Mbit/s and covers a radius of 1-5 km allowing for the use of portable internet usage. In detail, it will provide mobility for moving devices up to 120 km/h (74.5 miles/h).

In Kyung-Ghee province in Korea KT will be launching 20 taxis and 1000 buses with WiBro connection in November 2008, to let the passengers use the internet while on the move, and consequently stay connected and expand the usage of WiBro in Korea. From October 2008, KT started the beta test of the Wibro system on public buses as follow.

wibro on public bus

This is the wibro terminal on the bus located at backside of the seat. It has touch-screen display, so you can easily use this with your fingers. To use internet with this terminal you should pay by T-money2 or mobile phone.

wibro on public bus

As pictures above you can surf the internet simply sitting on the bus!

Following video clip, provided by IDG News service, will show you how Wibro works on the move.

  1. Korea’s biggest telecom carrier []
  2. T-money is smartcard in Korea for public transportation including bus and metro []
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    Younho, can user use the same screen for watching TV channels? I mean not their web-casting (or any other internet versions) but rather being used as a ordinary TV-set. Does the user should pay for watching TV in this case as well?
    And what about radio?
    Does this screen have any open interfaces so user can transfer files from his USB flash stick to it?

  2. yunho

    As far as I know, that device doesn’t provide tv or radio. And I am not sure about transfer files using USB stick, but I don’t think it allows to use. If you have any questions more, feel free to ask me.

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