Category Archives: Wireless

Free MagiNet Hotspot in Marriott

Location: Starbucks inside JW Marriott (Tomorrow Square), Shanghai

Network name: MagiNet@JWMarriottSH

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It is very fast – much faster than my slow FTTB+LANat home.

How to Get There

JW Marriott is the tallest building (the taller one besides it has not completed yet) in Pudxi area. You won’t miss it at the People’s Square.

Inside the lobby of JW Marriott, there is a Starbucks. Not many people know it, and I believe its major customers are people in the JW Marriott Service Apartment. They don’t have Wireless access there, sitting there, I can detect the signal from somewhere. The speed is really fast.

MagiNet?

Google told me their website: http://www.maginet.net/. It should be not free but why I can access it free of charge?

Pan Thinks about Wireless SOHO?

I like Pan Shiyi’s blog. Full of thoughts. He is successful in real estate industry, and he is also advanced in IT.

In this blog entry: Notting Hill Famous for Film, and SOHU Famous for Intenet?, he was inspired by the raise of Notting Hill as a modern area in London. He thought about implementing Wireless network covering SOHO area in Beijing. SOHO (picture) is one of his master piece property.

I noticed there are always 40,000 people working or living in the SOHO area (according to Pan’s blog). It is a big number.

If they do it, it is not a big project in China – just to cover several office buildings.

Google wanted to cover the whole city of Mountain View with wireless. How about the population of Mount View? 72,000.

Of cause, Pan’s plan didn’t get proportional attention (50%?) from media as Google did. Even Taipei’s plan to put wireless network to the entire city (2 million people?) didn’t get higher attention than what Google got. What does it mean?

Wifi Hotspot Competion Becomes Hot

I was tired tonight, so I leave the office – air in office building should be rated as the worst in a city. :-(

Xujiahui is a good place with so many good places. I wanted to go to Starbucks Metro Tower Store to have a cup of coffee and read some materials I just printed out. Starbucks becomes more attractive after the China Telecom Tian Yi Tong (WLAN) service started. I can bring my laptop and the A/C power adaptor to Starbucks. It is the better environment than office to think about business.

At the door of Starbucks, I suddenly thought it may be too luxury to buy a cup of coffee with 26 RMB (3 USD) just for the Internet access. To be honest, Internet access is more attractive to me than the coffee itself.

So I unconsciously stepped out and entered the nearby KFC. I bought a cup of coke (4.5 RMB or 0.5 USD) and sit down.

Half an hour later, when I opened my laptop, I found a new WLAN provider in addition to the WLAN from CTC – the WLAN service from CMCC (China Mobile)

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I choosed the new provider CMCC. It connects with the following status:

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Not surprisingly, they asked for user name and password before I can access any website. However, the best feature from this service is, their service can be applied by SMS or calling 1860.

Application

Send a SMS to 1860 with the following format:

  • Request Password: SQWLAN
  • Modify Password: XGWLANMM <Old Password> <New Password>
  • Reset password: CZWLANMM

The instruction codes like SQWLAN, XGWLANMM, and CZWLANMM are case sensitive. Passwords are case sensitive.

Fee

0.2 RMB/minute

The fee is charged to the mobile owner and bill goes with China Mobile Bill.

This service is only available for Quanqiutong customers (billed customers). Pre-paid card users cannot use it, according to their website. (Thanks WilliamW to bring up this question)

Experience

This is their timer window.

screen-sui.e.xing-cmcc.gif

Comparing with Tian Yi Tong

Named as Sui Yi Xiang (e-Traveler) by China Mobile, this service charges higher than China Telecom, which is 0.1 RMB per minutes. The advantage is, there is no subscription fee and the user name and password is available instantly. I believe it can get big adoption rate.

Now, at KFC, there are two service providers already. I guess other big players such as China Unicom, CNC will join the Metro City soon. The Wifi hotspot competition will become hot…

Wireless (WiFi) Hot Spots in Shanghai

LeiFeng reported many public hot spots along the way from Xujiahui to Hongkou (A district in north east Shanghai. “So many I couldn’t even believe myself”, said LeiFeng.

Public Hot Spots

I know almost all Starbucks are covered by China Mobile Network (CMC). Users with TianYiTong Account can directly access login. The bad news is, they are charging 0.1 RMB per minutes for all users (including paid Tian Yi Tong users) after Jan 21, 2004.

Pudong Airport offeres wireless access but it is the CNC network.

My Private Hot Spots

Really? I’d like to have Internet access in a park or on the road. I will have a try from Xujiahui to Caobao Road today to see if there is any this way. I have WiFi Hot Spot in my home at 77 Cao Bao Road. It is not public now but I’d like to share it out – there is no harm for me. Others may not be able to use it since I am on the eleventh floor and the signal will be very low down the the ground.

Several days before, XGAO (Chinese site) was very happy to find out wireless network in my home. He just brought out his computer and enjoy the free (for him) Internet access.

More Resources

My Home Goes Wireless

I have been dreaming wireless world for a long time. Today, I am so excited to setup a wireless world in my home – the wireless base station and wireless network card.

Connecting everything together

I bought the Microsoft Wireless Broadband Base Station NM500 months ago. Today, I finally find some time to set it up. Below is the diagram about how I connect the ADSL modem, the wireless base station and the existing hub together.

screen-wireless.network-diagram.JPG

This is a very typical network diagram in Shanghai – I was using dial-up, then changed to Great Wall Broadband and finally, I found ADSL is still the best home network solution.

Laptop without wires

It is very cool that my laptop can directly connects to the base station via wireless connections. I just carrying my laptop to everyone of the room to test the signal – it is still satisfactionary. Now I can lean on my bed and type these words. Fantastic!

Equipment

The AP, as I mentioned, is Microsoft NM500. It is something around 129 USD when I bought it.

screen-nm500.jpg

Actually, it is a very expensive equipment. You know, in Shanghai, the Shanghai Telecom offers Tian Yi Tong, the wireless access solution for home and small business. Before May 20, for existing ADSL user like me, I only need to pay 110 RMB for:

  • A free Wireless Network Card
  • An Access Point equipment (The monthly base fee will be increased to 150 RMB, adding the 20 RMB as the equipment leasing fee)
  • Wireless access at home.
  • Wireless access at many public places. It is said Starbucks, Hagendaze, and many hotels are hot spot of wireless network.

Tianyitong or another Wireless network card?

I need another network card for my other computer. You know, both of Wendy and I are using the laptop frequently at home so one wireless network card is not enough. Now I need to make the decision whether to buy a new wireless network card (150 RMB should be enough to get one on EachNet.com), or subscribe Tian Yi Tong (110 RMB plus 20 more RMB each month). I have seen the network card of Tian Yi Tong – it is pretty good.

The best thing of Tian Yi Tong is, with the extension of coverage of public access point, it will be very cool to broadcast what I see to my friends online if I am in Starbucks, or KFC…

Taimei asked me whehter you should by a wireless AP and network seperately or subscribe Tian Yi Tong. Well. If the current price of Tian Yi Tong remains, subscribe Tian Yi Tong is definitely cheaper (310 RMB in total or 110 RMB for ADSL upgrade). I haven’t decided because I already have the AP.

Not sure what the price will look like after May 20. Maybe much higher. Then buying the equipments seperately may be a good choice.

My Wireless Dream

I am a very keen fan of wireless stuff since I was very young.

Radio

At the age of 10, I was very interested in power-less radio. It is actually the combination of some diodes, long antenna, and a high resistance ear-phone. After piles of circuit diagrams and some prototype, I failed at last for lack of tools and component. But the dream is so sweat and lasting.

Remote Controller

I am interested in remote controller too. I tried to create some remote controller when I have the resource – to control a car or a boat, or even model plane is a wonderful idea. Everything seems magic when I was young.

After we bought a new TV set, the most amazing feature is the IR-remote controller. It is the best toy I had at that time. This seems silly now but for me, I enjoyed the feeling of wireless control very much.

Walkie, Talkie

The week before last week, I bought a set of Walkie-talkie in Seattle. This is the toy I have dreamed when I was a child. Actually, I don’t need it that much now, but I still buy it since I didn’t have money to get one when I was young. This is the end of my dream.

Wireless network

I didn’t plan for a wireless home network before I went to Seattle. The reason I didn’t plan is, the prices for an Access Point and Wireless card are too expensive in China. After I arrive in Seattle, I was impressed by the wireless network on Microsoft campus. The ports on the wall are useless. Everyone are receiving and sending email during the meeting on their laptop computer. When the meeting is over, the meeting minutes is already delivered to everyone’s inbox.

At the same time, I found there is a new model of Wireless Notebook Adaptor – NW-520. It only sells at price of $60 in Microsoft company store. I got one and brought it back. I didn’t got the Microsoft Base Station (NW-500) since it is out of stock.

Begin to setup my home WLAN

I am going to setup the experimental home WLAN tomorrow. I have borrowed an AP from my friend Qing. It didn’t work today. I will try to find out the reason tomorrow. Hopefully, I can create my blog of tomorrow via wireless connection.

Photo credit: Microsoft Coporation