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Free Wi-Fi for Sa Pa tourist town proposed

Free Wi-Fi for Sa Pa tourist town proposed

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 17:45 GMT+7

A Vietnamese non-governmental and non-profit organization has proposed free Wi-Fi coverage to the entire tourist town of Sa Pa as soon as possible at a recent conference organized by the government of the northern upland province of Lao Cai.

Accordingly, Hanoi-based Center for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) suggested that the free service should be done in the shortest time possible between now and early 2015 at the event held on Wednesday to gather public’s opinion on the construction of base transceiver stations (BTS) on Mount Fansipan and free Wi-Fi coverage for the town.

The establishment of more BTS and the offer of free Wi-Fi service will meet the demand of tourists and the local people who want to use 3G services there, said the local People’s Committee.

At the conference, the municipal branches of state-run Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group, which manages Vinaphone, and the military-run Viettel, also proposed the establishment of 1-2 BTS at two terminals of the cable car station at a height of 2,800 meters upward.

They also suggested the installation of optical fiber infrastructure at resorts located on the 3,143-meter-high Mount Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam.

However, speaking at the meeting, Mr. Dang Xuan Thanh, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said the information offered at the meeting is not enough to help local authorities decide to give the green light for the proposals.

As a result, the Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee required telecommunications companies and the firm running the cable car service to thoroughly discuss the coordination in construction, use and exploitation of the BTS there.

The local Department of Construction was also tasked with reviewing and granting permits for businesses to build the BTS, while the Department of Information and Communications is responsible for determining a plan on the coordination mechanism between the businesses to be submitted to the Provincial People's Committee within this month.

Currently, 3G service has been only available to Sa Pa Town.

The central city of Da Nang is the latest city to offer free municipal WiFi network costing US$2 million to 300 hotspots, serving 10,000 local residents and tourists.

The first locality in Vietnam to offer free Wi-Fi coverage is the central town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province, the neighboring city of Da Nang, which did it in 2012.

In April 2012, Ha Long City also saw work started on its free WiFi network. The project has so far reached its first stage of completion, with 106 hotspots covered. 

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