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Mixed signals for cell phones at Expo

VISITORS and staff at the World Expo site have reported they are unable to use their cell phones properly in some areas, as Expo organizers said they would ask mobile operators to improve service.

At the Australia Pavilion, there's no signal available at all, and visitors often find they're isolated from the outside world. Its staff even joked that they could turn their mobiles off after entering the pavilion.

And Shanghai Daily found that the Czech Republic Pavilion, except for one designated corner, has a similar situation. Guo Xueying, an official with the Austria Pavilion, confirmed their pavilion also suffers the same problem. So does the Thailand Pavilion.

But Zhang Chunmin, an official with the China Mobile's Shanghai branch, said the pavilions mentioned above, especially the Australia Pavilion, refused the signal coverage themselves because they want visitors to focus on the exhibitions completely instead of being distracted by their cell phones.

In addition, if a visitor takes the bus across the Huangpu River, signals may cut out in the tunnel, and signals between neighboring zones, such as the belt between C9 and C10, are not stable either.

Xin Ye, an official with the information department of the Expo bureau, told Shanghai Daily that the poor signal is partly due to big visitor flows and bad weather, especially storms. The office would ask China Mobile and China Unicom to look into the problem at public areas as soon as possible.


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