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Monday, 2nd March 2015
In Business In Japan, General Japan News,

Japan launching 'Free Wi-Fi' campaign from April 1st

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has announced that it will be launching a new 'Free Wi-Fi' campaign across the country from next month in order to fill its nationwide Wi-Fi-gap issue.

Following a series of calls from officials to improve the country's Wi-Fi accessibility, the department's special wireless task force has developed a sign that will designate public places that offer the free service to customers. It is hoped that travellers will see the sign and take advantage of the connectivity, all while purchasing some food in the process.

Businesses will be able to apply to receive one of these designated signs from April 1st, and in conjunction with this, there will also be a multilingual website that will offer for more information to foreign travellers about where they can get Wi-Fi access.

This comes after a series of attempts by officials to improve the situation in a country that is otherwise known for its technological innovations. Recent reports have suggested that private businesses have to establish networks through a third-party pay provider, and around half of the free municipal networks do not function at high speeds.

However, as unlimited mobile data plans across Japan start to die out and tourist expectations for Wi-Fi continue to rise, demand for the service has dramatically risen in recent years. It is therefore hoped that regions that have limited connectivity are plugged in in the run up to the 2020 Olympics that will be hosted in Tokyo.

This happens a week after Japan Airlines announced that it will be extending its in-flight Wi-Fi services to its Boeing 767-300ERs and Boeing 787-8s from March 3rd. In total, 12 new planes will offer free Wi-Fi to its customers this year, enabling them to remain connected up in the clouds.

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