BT to hang-up on payphones to bring 1GBps Wi-Fi to London

News

BT is bringing free 1GBps Wi-Fi to London by installing "the phone boxes of the future".

The operator has teamed up with advertising company Primesight and infrastructure provider Intersection to introduce InLinkUK units to Camden High Street in central London.

The units will provide ultrafast Wi-Fi, device charging, access to maps and local services, a business phone directory and real-time, context specific information such as weather updates and London Underground tube times.

The services are free to use and are paid for by advertising revenue, although users have to register for them.

BT said it was planning to replace existing payphone kiosks across London and in major cities across the country with the InLinkUK units. It said these units were smaller than payphones, freeing up space on pavements.

The units launched last year in New York under the LinkNYC branding by Intersection.

Since launching in January 2016, more than 1.8 million users have registered for the service.

Gerry McQuade, CEO, BT Wholesale & Ventures, said: “This is the phone box of the future. InLinkUK from BT brings the payphone up-to-date and gives people the services they need and use every day in the 21st century - and the bonus is it’s all for free.

“But as well as the free services - ultrafast Wi-Fi, phone calls, rapid mobile charging and local information – councils and community organisations will be able to use the screens to provide up-to-the minute news and information to local residents.

“And just as the phone box has evolved, the new InLinks could evolve to use the Internet of Things, with connected sensors to monitor and help us understand and improve our environment.”

Earlier this year, O2 and Vodafone won a 15-year contract to roll out free public Wi-Fi across the City of London.