For the hundreds of thousands of business and leisure travelers in China, the hassle of finding a wireless WLAN or Wi-Fi Hotspot is over.
ChinaPulse.com, a service of BDL Media Ltd, recently unveiled an enhanced English-language Wi-Fi online search engine that contains information for many of China's largest cities and where to spot WLAN and Wi-Fi locations.
The directory can be searched by protocol (i.e. 802.11b, 802.11g), city, and cost of service, and lists each restaurant, hotel, bar, business center or internet cafe's contact details in both English and Chinese. Some of the outlets also have interior pictures and descriptions of where the Wi-Fi signal is best. Recent additions to the Directory include properties Holiday Inn, Hilton Hotels, Starwood Group, the Great Hall of the People in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, Starbucks Coffees outlets in Shanghai, and other conference facilities. The ChinaPulse.com site also offers free China travel tips, free newsletters, as well as money-saving specials.
It is estimated that there will be about 2,000 wireless hotspots by the end of 2003 in China alone, and total hotspots in Asia Pacific may exceed 20,000. However, although WLAN Internet service has been an increasingly popular trend in China, it still takes time and energy for business travelers to locate Hotspots that meet their criteria and usable protocols. Now that time can be better used as they can log onto ChinaPulse.com and have instantaneous solutions at the click of their mouse.
According to a recent IDC report, the total revenue from wireless LANs in Asia (excluding Japan) will reach US$350 million by 2005, an increase of US$45 million over 2000, and an average compound annual growth of 51%. By 2005, the total amount of WLAN hotspots is expected to exceed 150,000 globally, and regular users of WLAN will exceed 48 million worldwide.