Londoners and visitors to get free Wi-Fi in city hotspots during Olympics

25 Jul 2012

Trafalgar Square, London. Image via Wikimedia Commons

O2 is getting in on the buzz around the upcoming Olympics, as it is making free Wi-Fi available at some of London’s most iconic hotspots – think Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus – during the Games.

The Wi-Fi deal was reached by Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and communications provider O2. Apparently the service will also run at no cost to the council or the taxpayer.

From today, it seems that people who are in and around some of London’s most famous landmarks will be able to avail of free Wi-Fi. And O2 has said the Wi-Fi will be available to everyone, irrespective of their network or broadband provider.

However, one will have to register with O2 before they can access the free Wi-Fi during the Olympics. And, once they sign up, people’s smartphones will then connect to the service.

So where will tourists, Londoners and Olympians get to use free Wi-Fi exactly?

Well, Exhibition Road, Leicester Square, and Piccadilly Circus will all be coverage areas. The free Wi-Fi will also span High Street Kensington, Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

O2 Wi-Fi for free during Olympics 2012

London itself, it seems, gets commuter and visitor traffic of around 1m people daily, and this figure is also expected to increase by 13pc during the Olympics.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has backed the initiative, saying the aim of the free Wi-Fi would be to showcase London as “the best city in the world to work and visit”.

House of Fraser will be the first advertiser across the outdoor O2 Wi-Fi network.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic