Free AD Wi-Fi coverage on all of the Taipei Metro’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations in Taipei and New Taipei has been discontinued since June 25.
Since December of 2017, free Wi-Fi service had been available for 30 minutes per session on the network “.TPE-Free AD WiFi” in exchange for first clicking on an advertisement. However, on Monday, the company providing the service, Hoveringsys Corp, announced that due to competition from Taiwanese telecom companies, the firm decided to suspend the service.
While it was in operation, the network was accessed by 70,000 people per day, or about 3.3 percent of the 2.1 million passengers who take the MRT each day, according to Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) statistics. The TRTC said that it was notified by the company on June 24 that the it would discontinue free Wi-Fi service on June 25, reported CNA.
In a press release, Hoveringsys Corp said that network and operations costs were originally covered by ads that users needed to click on before they could access the service. However, after the huge wave of unlimited 4G data for NT$499 maniagripped Taiwan last year, user numbers on its network plummeted dramatically.
Lin Chuan-chi (林全馳), president of Hoveringsys Corp, said that over the last six months, the company had actively consulted with the Taipei City and New Taipei City governments on ways to publicize the free Wi-Fi service to MRT passengers, but to no avail, reported CNA. But because it did not receive any consensus and support, it led to the deterioration of its business and it decided to discontinue its services.
To compensate for the loss of free Wi-Fi the Taipei City government has set up 158 hotspots to provide the new TPE-Free Wi-Fi service. Examples of hotspots where the new service is available include, passenger information desks at MRT stations, Taipei Arena, Maokong Gondola, and Taipei Children’s Amusement Park.
Unfortunately, free Wi-Fi will no longer be available inside MRT trains, for the time being, according to the TRTC.