Nokia and Spectrum Interactive, the UK independent provider of Wi-Fi services, today announced the first large scale trial of free Wi-Fi access in the busiest streets across London. This is the first ever public Wi-Fi scheme in the UK that’s specifically aiming to make it easier for people on the move to access online services for free.
Internet access is initially available for a trial period at 26 street hotspots from November 1st until the end of 2011 and will test how consumers interact with the free Wi-Fi service. Following a successful trial, plans are in place for a large-scale rollout across London from early 2012.
The two-month trial is intended to assess both the demand for free Wi-Fi access and the browsing behaviour of consumers using the service across the capital. The findings will be used to determine the best locations for future hotspots and the necessary bandwidth to meet robust consumer demand.
“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 indispensible part of modern life,” said John Nichols, Head of Marketing at Nokia. “From tourists finding their way around the capital, to commuters updating Facebook or browsing on the move, we all depend on mobile to share our everyday experiences and enhance our lives. Nokia is pleased to sponsor this pilot which we hope will connect people even more easily than ever before.”
Simon Alberga, Executive Chairman at Spectrum Interactive, commented: “While 4G mobile access is firmly on the horizon, Wi-Fi coverage currently fills a much needed niche between 3G mobile internet and home broadband. Tablets and mobile phones are capable of incredibly high-end browsing experiences now, but Wi-Fi access is often a requirement to support the tasks many of us want to be able to do on the move, such as uploading multimedia to Facebook or watching YouTube. It’s great to be able to implement a service that so many people will quickly come to regard as indispensible.”
Chris Bull, Founder of Selective Media continued: “Bringing together all the different parties involved in this rollout has been a fantastic experience. This is a service that Londoners need and want and Nokia and Spectrum Interactive make a great team. We look forward to working with Nokia moving forward on similar projects.”