| Many mobile phone users might have had experiences in which their handsets fully charged in the morning almost run out of battery by the afternoon but cannot find a charging station nearby. Beginning next year, people will not have to worry about such a situation, as subway stations and public offices in Seoul will rent rechargers for mobile devices free of charge.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to introduce services designed to improve citizens` mobile device uses, including the free recharger rental service, free public Wi-Fi hotspots and taxi matchmaking.
In the mobile recharging service, citizens can rent mobile rechargers from government offices or subway stations. They can return the rechargers at nearby subway stations or other designated places. After offering trial services during public events, which the public responded positively, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to expand the services to public facilities such as subway stations and public libraries.
By 2015, Seoul also plans to drastically increase the number of Wi-Fi hotspots to 10,000 or more mainly at places frequented by many people, such as traditional markets, parks, squares, tourist spots and major streets.
Currently, the city provides limited free Wi-Fi access at 218 places including the Dongdaemun Market, the Cheongnyangni Fish Market, Itaewon and university areas. Seoul plans to make Wi-Fi Internet access freely available almost anywhere in the city. In particular, the city will expand free Wi-Fi access to bus stops, in-city buses and subway stations. The hotspots will carry the "Seoul Wi-Fi" emblem so that they will be easily noticed.
Seoul plans to provide a variety of mobile services by using big data. The most representative service will be the "taxi matchmaking," which will begin in 2014 and use big data information such as floating population, taxi uses on each street and taxi rides and exits. A smartphone user with a taxi information app will get information on taxis available nearby and places with many taxis with vacancies. Taxi drivers using the app will get information on places where there are many customers at a given time.