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March 8, 2013

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Smart network to cover half of city's communities by year end

A SMART community network that allows residents to make appointments with doctors or shop at nearby grocery stores via television will be expanded to more than 2,000 Shanghai communities, half of the city's total, by the end of the year, an official said yesterday.

The network, which lets residents pay utility bills and check medical history, will cover all communities in the city by 2015, said Zhang Weihua, general manager of China Telecom, the major operator of the network.

"The network is based on the cloud computing to combine all kinds of services and government information on the resident's television," Zhang said.

Internet service is required. Residents need only connect a set-top box to their televisions to use the network.

"I think the service at a five-star hotel wouldn't be any better than that," Xiao Anli, a 56-year-old housewife in the Gumei Community in Minhang, who has been using the service since August.

Xiao said the first thing she does every morning is turn on her television. That's how she finds out which grocery store has the lowest price, how long she would have to wait at nearby hospitals and what the traffic and parking conditions are near her home.


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