Dubai // Many internet surfers who have been enjoying free wireless internet connections in coffee shops and shopping malls will soon have to pay for the service. "We never said it would be always free," said Farid Faraidooni, the executive vice-president commercial for du, one of the country's two telecommunications providers, during a press conference yesterday introducing its wi-fi service on the Dubai Metro.
He said free internet access was being phased out across the city. Internet surfers, who were alerted two weeks before the launch of the Metro about the change in policy, were not impressed by the news. Avin Patel, from London, who was working on his laptop at a cafe in Dubai Marina, was one of them. "I won't pay to use the internet," he said. "I've got internet at home but I like coming down here for a coffee and surfing the web."
Du's rival internet provider, Etisalat, has always charged internet users in malls and coffee shops that chose its service. The Dubai Metro's wi-fi service will be available in stations and on trains, at a cost of Dh10 an hour through a credit card, and Dh20 an hour on prepaid cards valid for 60 days. firstname.lastname@example.org