Locations that offer free Wi-Fi will be extended to 2000 by the end of this year in South Korea. This follow moves by other Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan to offer free Wi-Fi to their populaces.

Three of South Korea’s major mobile operators, KT, SK Telecom, and LG UPlus have said that they will invest in the 1000 locations that will offer free Wi-Fi.  The plan was revealed on the 17th, with many of the locations to receive the free Wi-Fi hotspot being libraries, government offices and bus terminals.

Users can learn where there is free Wi-Fi at the Korea Information Agency website (speed.nia.or.kr) by clicking the link: 'Public WiFi Free'.  A simple user authentication will be used to gain access to the free hotspots.


(Patrons using the free Wi-Fi offered at a local Starbucks | Image: cissp)

Beginning next year, the Korean Communications Commision (KCC) plans to support local governments and cellphone carriers by sharing the cost of building free Wi-Fi hotspots in places such as traditional markets, health centers, and welfare facilities to better serve the underprivileged populace.

Recently, other countries in Asia have begun to offer more free Wi-Fi hotspots. Japan has already begun offering free Wi-Fi at the expense of various companies.  Connect Free, one of the free Wi-Fi services, allows stores to easily offer free internet to their patrons.  7-Eleven, Lawson, and Starbucks have also started offering free internet within the confines of their businesses.

Taiwan is one of the trend's leader, as the Taipei city government started introducing free public Wi-Fi throughout Taipei last year.