Mobile network provider O2 has agreed a deal with the City of London Corporation to deliver free public wi-fi across all mobile networks for City businesses, residents and visitors within the area known as the ‘Square Mile’.
The rollout of the wireless network will be managed by Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) – which has been awarded with a 15-year contract. CTIL will build 4G mobile ‘small cells’ into lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns to provide wi-fi at street level. The wi-fi network will replace the service currently provided by The Cloud and will be fully operational by Autumn this year.
“Free, reliable, high-speed wireless internet is a must for any modern, competitive financial centre. That is why I am thrilled to have CTIL deliver this essential project for the Square Mile,” said Mark Boleat, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources committee. “Soon, residents, visitors and workers in the City will be able to enjoy uninterrupted wireless connectivity, and this project should ensure that wireless ‘black spots’ in the Square Mile become a thing of the past.”
Derek McManus, COO at O2, added: “Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader. Connectivity plays a central role in supporting the future growth of our economy, enabling us to communicate and trade more easily, attracting overseas business and creating new jobs.”