“Be-Okinawa-Free-Wi-Fi” service to start in July
Okinawa Prefecture has asked all major telecommunications companies to provide a centralized service of free Wi-Fi that would enable all smartphone owners to access a free Wi-Fi service throughout Okinawa.
Surveys by Okinawa Prefecture Tourism Department have constantly shown a low satisfaction rate among inbound tourists and visitors regarding the Wi-Fi access in most areas within the prefecture. To improve the situation, the prefecture has determined to promote a free Wi-Fi system throughout Okinawa.
The project, called, “Be-Okinawa-Free-Wi-Fi,” aims to develop a free Wi-Fi network with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, private enterprises and businesses, tourism-related organizations, small retailers and other interested parties, which would cover all cities and districts throughout Okinawa.
To expand the area of the free Wi-Fi network, Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company, known as ‘au Okinawa,’ has been designated as the first provider to launch “Be-Okinawa-Free-Wi-Fi” service starting July 1st. au Okinawa’s CEO Hiroshi Kitagawa strongly agrees with the project. “au Okinawa will work hard to improve the current situation of the inaccessibility and inconvenience that especially foreign visitors to Okinawa have constantly had problems up to now,” Kitagawa said. He went on to state that, “au Okinawa is implementing the change of our Wi-Fi spots’ names to “Be-Okinawa-Free-Wi-Fi” from now on.”
Although the network security, authentication and verification are going to be important issues to discuss in the near future, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga has talked about the importance of this project along with the advancement of information technology, specifically in the context of the Asian economic outlook. This is the first initiative of its type in Japan.