Beijing is rolling out free internet on 12,000 city buses this week, according to state media. It’s the next step forward in a three-year “wireless city” plan that originally saw ten district hot spots open up around the city at the end of 2011.

State-owned telcos China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom will lead the rollout, which has inevitably been met with security concerns given China’s poor network surveillance record. Despite the risks, the move will likely take the sting out a recent announcement that public transport prices will rise by up to 100% from December 28.

Supermarkets, subways and other public spaces will also be targeted in the next month as the municipal government plans to provide some 90,000 access points. It’s part of a pilot scheme that will be tested over three years. Authorities haven’t as yet indicated what will happen to the networks after that time, or whether they will remain free.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com