Nokia sponsors free Wi-Fi for London

Free Wi-Fi is to roll out in certain areas of London, thanks to a Nokia-sponsored initiative.

London

Nokia and Spectrum Interactive have announced the launch of free Wi-Fi in London.

The trial period of free Wi-Fi access will be available at 26 street hotspots from 1 November until the end of 2011.

According to Nokia, if the trial proves successful, plans are in place for a large-scale rollout across London in early 2012.

"Nokia believes you can upgrade every day moments to make them amazing. Providing free Wi-Fi access to London commuters and visitors does just that. On-the-go internet access has become an indispensable part of modern life," said John Nichols, head of marketing at Nokia.

A Spectrum Interactive spokesperson could not confirm if Nokia was doing anything other than sponsoring the initiative but stressed it believes the Finnish giant is the right company to partner with.

"Nokia is the perfect partner for this project due to its wealth of experience in understanding and supporting consumer access to mobile online services. Nokia will play a vital role in ensuring that the free Wi-Fi experience is a great one for everyone," a Spectrum Interactive spokesperson told IT Pro.

However, the spokesperson could not confirm if Nokia was doing anything other than sponsoring the initiative.

How it works

The trial is to test the demand for free Wi-Fi and browsing behaviours of customers using the service. As a result, more will be learned about the most popular locations and what bandwidth is needed.

The network supports access speeds of up to 20Mbps from equipment installed in side-street phone boxes, owned by Spectrum Interactive.

After users log on to the network and accept the terms and conditions, they can begin browsing immediately.

Some of the areas that will be activated include Oxford Street, Bloomsbury, Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Victoria, among many others.

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