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Free wifi coming to a metro line near you soon

Tired of blitzing through all your data on your daily commute? We know the feeling. Fortunately it looks like that might be about to change. Last week journalist Xiaoli Zhu from Sina reported that she connected to wifi while she was at Quyang Lu station on Line 8, with a relatively smooth and lag free connection rocking speeds between 1-2Mbps. Time to rejoice? Not quite - Ms Zhu reported that she lost signal while the train was moving.


Shanghai Shentong Metro Group assigned Shenzhen Peanut Wireless network company to set up wifi networks on line 13 in 2014, and they recently started to expand the coverage to lines 4 and 8 as a test. The ultimate goal is to have full coverage on the whole of Shanghai's subway network.

Peanut Wireless say they are having trouble dealing with capacity at the moment, as only 600 passengers per carriage can log on. Once the limit is exceeded people will find that their device disconnects. Let's hope they get that sorted before rolling it out across the city, otherwise it could be an even more frustrating rush hour commute for all of us.

As for buses, well, you may not realise, but free wifi access on 3800 buses has already been available since 2014; covering 320 routes and benefiting over 1.7 million passengers per day in Shanghai. Our dream of a city with blanket free wifi access is nearly upon us - now if they could just work on making it go faster than a lethargic snail crawling up a cliff, that would be perfect...


How to get online


For the metro


Switch on your phone's wifi, connect to '花生wifi' ('Huasheng wifi') network. You will be prompted to put in your mobile number and the verification code sent to your phone (much like Starbucks/Costa et al) then you'll be good to go.


For bus


Scan the QR code below to download an app called 'E Lu wifi', connect your smart phone to '16 wifi', and use your phone number to sign up, then press connect. Ask a person who can read Chinese to help if you have trouble downloading the app.