I’ve just read an interesting article in the local media. It said China is going to change its public telephone booths into Wi-Fi hotspots. (Here is the article: http://tech.qq.com/a/20101217/000109.htm)
If that is the case, it will be great. Firstly, ever since mobile phones became popular, the use of public telephone booths is getting less and less. The article said in some area of Guangdong, a telephone booth gets less than one person to use it in a day. That is really a waste of resource, considering it has to be maintained regularly.
Secondarily, Chinese 3G services (no matter provided by China Mobile, China Unicom or China Telecom) are still slow and patchy. With Wi-Fi hotspots to complement them, the user experience can be much better. (I am personally on China Unicom’s 3G services for my mobile phone, and I am not very happy about it.) Telephone booths, which are dotted in every corners of the streets, seems the perfect places for Wi-Fi hotspots. At least for the cities.
The article mentioned, besides of telephone booths, the telecom operators are also trying to setup hotspots in restaurants, hotels, sport facilities, and so on. If the idea is really implemented, they will turn every city in China into a giant Wi-Fi network for fast internet connection.
For me, as a user, the more hotspots the merrier. Even better if their services are free.