Beijing will put a state-of-the-art wireless information service designed for visitors to the city during the 2008 Olympics to the test in the second half of 2007, according to the service operator China Netcom.
The wireless service will be available in the form of a portable electronic device, similar in appearance to a mobile phone, which visitors can rent for a fee from airports, hotels and tourist sites. The cost will not be determined until the trial period ends.
The service, available in the seven languages of Chinese, English, Japanese, Russian, French, Spanish and German, will provide general Games and city information, and information on tourist sites, transport, dining and business.
It will also have an emergency option which will put the user through to a multi-lingual call centre. The in-built Global Positioning System will enable call centre staff to help foreigners who are lost in the city.
Before renting the equipment, users can list their interests during the registration process. The device will then deliver specific information according to users' interests and their location in the city.
The wireless handsets will also be available in the cities of Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Qingdao and Qinhuangdao, which are all hosting Olympic events.
The trial period will last for three months in which only a select group of users in Beijing will have access to the service.