Hong Kong bus firm offers free Wi-Fi services

HONG KONG – New World First Bus (NFWB) and Citybus announced Monday that free Wi-Fi based Internet access will soon be available on 10 selected buses in Hong Kong.

NWFB and Citybus are jointly owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and NWS Holdings in the SAR. The bus operator said it’s among the pioneers in the industry worldwide to offer such a service, which supports all Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones, game consoles, PDAs, and laptop computers. The 10 buses serve nine NWFB in-town routes and one Citybus airport route.

According to the bus operator, the first bus with Wi-Fi connection is already in service while the other nine buses will be in service within two weeks.

“As Hong Kong is a world-class city, and in line with the government’s efforts in building a city-wide Wi-Fi network in Hong Kong, we thoroughly understand the needs of our customers for real-time communications anytime, anywhere,” said Citybus and NWFB spokesperson Elaine Chan “As such, we believe the launch of free Internet access on Wi-Fi bus will further enhance the travel experience for our customers and meet their needs.”

The Wi-Fi enabled buses are recognizable by a clear label stating “Free Internet Access on Wi-Fi Bus” on the vehicle body, said the bus operator. Any Wi-Fi enabled devices with Internet browsers, such as IE, Firefox or Safari, passengers can use the service by following the user guidelines stated on the seat back stickers, the firm added.

Moving objects are known to have problems receiving stable and strong Wi-Fi signals, but the bus company claimed passengers will enjoy ‘good’ signal coverage anywhere on the Wi-Fi enabled buses as the radius of the Wi-Fi signal can reach around 50 meters from the on-board access point.

She added that the Wi-Fi service is secured and equipped with filtering tools to ban gambling and adult-content websites. The first phase of the service will last three months. “We will closely monitor the service performance and passenger responses, together with our partners, and explore the possibility of extending the service after the first phase,” said Chan.

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