Date
18 August 2017
Jason Kwan (second from left) says Smartac and its partners are exploring new ways to go online at railway stations. Photo: HKEJ
Jason Kwan (second from left) says Smartac and its partners are exploring new ways to go online at railway stations. Photo: HKEJ

Better wifi services in the works for China’s railway stations

Railway passengers in big cities in China can expect to enjoy better wifi services next year.

This is the plan of a strategic alliance of zirconium manufacturer Smartac Group China Holdings Ltd (00395.HK), wifi provider Ruckus Wireless Inc., Ali Cloud of Alibaba Group and a telecommunications firm.

“We are exploring new ways to go online… for example, people can just shake their mobile phones in order to go online when they arrive at one station,” said Jason Kwan, executive director of Smartac.

Data collected at Guangzhounan Railway Station shows about 10 percent of passengers connect to the internet. That number can rise to 30 percent when the technology is up and running, Kwan said.

Tests are being done at Guangzhounan which together with 100 other stations will be wifi-ready after the Chinese New Year.

Smartac subsidiary Solomedia Digital (Shanghai) won the bid to be the wifi provider of 325 railway stations under Beijing Railway Administration and Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corp in some provinces. The upgraded wifi applications are expected to be ready in all the stations by the middle of next year, Kwan said.

Ali Cloud will help to set up a cloud platform to integrate big data resources and encourage mobile consumption as railway passengers can be connected to other platforms of Alibaba Group, he said.

Shanghai Zewei Info and Tech Co Ltd under China Telecom will also play a role because of its connection with millions of small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We can then link railway operators, network operators and retailers together,” Kwan said.

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JH/JP/JL

EJ Insight reporter

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