Visitors to the annual Flower Street in Ho Chi Minh City during the coming Lunar New Year (Tet in Vietnamese) will for the first time be able to use Wi-Fi for free, the company that will install public wireless Internet hotspots at the event said Wednesday.
The free Wi-Fi access is intended to enable visitors to stay connected while touring the festival, also known as the Nguyen Hue Flower Street, the Saigon Postel Corporation (SPT) said on its website.
SPT will install hotspots for its S-wifi network on Ham Nghi Street in the city’s downtown, where the Book Street fest will also be running, along with the flower festival, as well as at parks including Tao Dan, 23/9, Gia Dinh, Le Van Tam and the flower street in Phu My Hung.
The Ho Chi Minh City Flower Street has been held annually since 2004 on Nguyen Hue Street, but will be relocated to Ham Nghi this year as the former is closed for the construction of a subway system.
The S-wifi system will offer unlimited Internet bandwidth to help festival-goers access the Internet with their mobile devices, according to SPT.
“Local residents and international tourists can feel free to share their photos and videos captured at the festival with their friends online,” the company said.
The free Wi-Fi project was approved by the municipal administration and Department of Information and Communications, after acknowledging the huge demand for public Internet access in the southern metropolis, according to SPT.
The number of smartphones in Vietnam has risen seven times over the last three years, while the number of people accessing the Internet via smartphones has also increased fourfold in the same period, SPT said, citing a report by market research firm AC Nielsen.
The free Wi-Fi will be available as of February 2, whereas the flower street is slated to open at 7:00 pm on February 16 and close at 10:00 pm on February 22.
Visitors will be required to log in with the username S-wifi.vn on the network named S-wifi to be able to use the complimentary service, SPT noted.
The flower street has grown into one of the city’s highlights during Tet – the Southeast Asian country’s largest traditional holiday – and receives millions of tourists, including foreigners, each year.
This year’s flower street is themed “Vietnamese Identity and Spirit.”
The first day of the Lunar New Year falls on February 19, but festive preparations and the celebratory atmosphere will go on one week before and after that date, as per tradition.