Taipei plans to make wireless Internet access available across the Taiwan capital by the end of 2005, joining a small number of cities offering Wi-Fi networks.
The network will reach almost 90 percent of the capital's population of 3 million and aims to make accessing the Internet as easy as using cell phones, a project coordinator said on Friday.
"In most cities in the world the coverage is small, but Taipei's (network) is designed for a population of 2.6 million," said Andy Lai, project leader for a Hewlett-Packard Inc. consulting team working with the Taipei City Government.
New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Jerusalem are among cities offering or planning city-wide networks.
Taiwan's Q-Ware Corp., which won Taipei's tender to build the network, plans to spend $70 million on infrastructure, setting up 15,000 to 20,000 access points around the city, according to HP. Q-Ware will charge users for access.
Hewlett-Packard said it would work with Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc to implement the "M-City" project.