Free Wi-Fi in Moscow: a user’s guide

Free Wi-Fi in Moscow: a user’s guide
Free Wi-Fi is available on the streets, at parks, on metro trains, buses and trams, at bus stops and eventually on commuter trains. There are also plans to establish a seamless Wi-Fi network in central Moscow. This story discusses free Wi-Fi connections in the capital.

In 2012, the city launched its own free Wi-Fi system. The first Wi-Fi networks were established at various recreational areas, including parks, pedestrian zones and other cultural centres. Today, Wi-Fi networks can be accessed on metro trains, buses, trams and trolleybuses and in student dormitories.

The city operates several free Wi-Fi networks, including the City Wi-Fi project, the Moscow Transport (MT_FREE) integrated seamless network and park networks. MT_FREE users don’t have to obtain repeat authorisation, when changing from one transit system to another. All of them create one of the largest zones for wireless internet access, and this zone is expanding and improving.

Streets inside the Garden Ring will form one seamless access zone. There are plans to increase the number of street locations, so users don’t lose communications while strolling around central Moscow.

Wi-Fi locations in the city

Most streets inside the Garden Ring, as well as numerous parks, provide internet access. Wi-Fi networks are available at over 1,000 locations. Each of them will be marked accordingly to keep walkers informed.

Download interactive park maps on the website and on the city’s Wi-Fi network  map.

To see internet access points on the map, select an area, and circles with numbers showing Wi-Fi locations in a given designated area will appear. Click on a circle, and a diagram with the address and coverage radius will be shown.

Connecting to the Internet

To connect, select Moscow_Wi-Fi_Free among accessible networks, open the browser and register. This can be done on a account or through text messages. In the first case, a login and password are required. In the second case, users must enter their phone number, and receive a text message with a code.

After entering the code, users can access the Wi-Fi city network’s starting page, and will only have to identify themselves once every three months. After connecting at a park, simply select the Moscow_Wi-Fi_Free network, open the browser and press the “Connect” button. After connecting to the city’s Wi-Fi once the browser is open, the page will automatically open, and users will be able to access the internet. No repeat authorisation is required while moving between hot spots.

Quality and speed

Every device’s Wi-Fi connection speeds do not exceed one megabit per second. This is enough to use video-phone mode, to search for information or to watch video.

Mobile internet speeds have soared by 35-40 percent in a year. 3G and 4G networks have an average speed of 12 and 18 megabits per second. Moscow is second in terms of fixed communications spending among all cities worldwide. Mobile internet connections cost eight times less here than in New York City.

According to experts, the city has established Europe’s largest zone for transport wireless online access. Soon, commuter trains will be added to the MT_FREE network. The city continues to prepare for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to expand the coverage of mobile services providers and the Wi-Fi network.