Seoul Subway Line No. 2 Becomes Major WiFi Hotspot

Seoul Subway Line No. 2 has become one of the most popular WiFi hotspots in the Seoul Metropolitan area. It passes by major universities including Ewha Womans, Hongik, Seoul National and Yonsei Universities and is now notable for passengers' lively use of smartphones.

According to statistics released by KT on Tuesday, Subway Line No. 2 recorded 2.56 times more of WiFi data consumption than the average of 14 subway lines running through Seoul and neighboring areas. It was followed by Line No. 3 (1.8 times) and Subway Line No. 5 (1.67 times).

KT has established WiFi service zones at 360 stations in 14 metropolitan subway lines since August. The smartphone was the most frequently used device (94 percent) to access the network. The volume of data usage on the network soared 578 percent in just three months from September to November, showing the rapid spread of smartphones in the country.

Express Bus Terminal Station where three subway lines -- Nos. 3, 7, 9 -- meet, was the most popular WiFi hotspot among all stations. WiFi traffic at the station was at 23 Gigabytes on a single day on Nov. 19 alone, equivalent to three-minute video streaming available to 4,200 people at a time. The second-most popular zone was Sadang, followed by Dongdaemun, Jamsil and Jongno 3-ga.

Among the top 20 stations, 16 were transfer stations while four including Gangnam (eighth), Hongik University (12th) and Samseong (18th) were listed because they are near areas where young people frequently gather.

"The soaring WiFi traffic on the Line No. 2 stations including Dongdaemun, Gangnam, Hongik University and Samseong shows that most smartphone users are young people in their 20s or 30s," KT said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 24, 2010 13:03 KST