O2 has announced its plans to deploy a market-changing public Wi-Fi platform in the UK, with the launch of O2 Wifi. O2’s premium hotspots will be managed through partnerships with key venue owners and will be open for all customers to access for free, no matter which mobile or broadband provider they are with.
O2 is aiming to create a scaled Wi-Fi platform that will be at least double the number of premium hotspots currently offered by BT Openzone and The Cloud combined by 2013. It will begin rollout immediately by replacing its existing 450 Cloud hotspots in its retail and office estate. It will continue to extend the reach and scale of O2 Wifi through partnerships with strategic venues, to include shops, restaurants, retail outlets and outdoor and indoor locations across the UK.
The company says the O2 Wifi service will address the many shortcomings of current public Wi-Fi offerings by being genuinely free to customers, simple, fast and secure. ‘O2’s mobile expertise and insight, allied with an enhanced quality of network connectivity and strong venue partnerships will now deliver a significantly enhanced user experience. O2 Wifi will introduce a new level of customer engagement, driving increased value for both the Wi-Fi hosting venue and the user by bringing together O2 Wifi with the capabilities of O2 Media and O2 Money to offer the potential to deliver relevant timely content that customers want in a format that suits them’.
Access to the hotspots will be through a simple sign-up process and will be free to both O2 and non-O2 mobile customers, providing seamless connectivity to a high quality network. The sign up process will be auto provisioned for all O2 customers with Wi-Fi devices by the end of the year. All hotspots will be premium public hotspots, as opposed to using residential connections with limited bandwidth.