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FREE Superfast WiFi Service in Birmingham UK City Centre Goes Live

Friday, November 8th, 2013 (3:19 pm) - Score 1,480
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Cable operator Virgin Media Business confirms that it has completed the build of their new “super-fast” public wifi wireless Internet hotspot service in the centre of Birmingham, which covers around 2.5 square miles of the city and offers “no usage limits“.

The service, which was first announced in July 2013 (here) and had originally been intended to go live during September 2013 (i.e. it appears to have suffered a slight delay), is distributed via a series of small access points that have been installed on local city street furniture (e.g. lamp-posts).

It’s understood that Birmingham City Council will gain a benefit from this by becoming the recipient of a small income stream through the access rights to the street furniture.

Duncan Higgins, VMB’s Director of Marketing, said:

This exciting new technology has the potential to supercharge people’s internet services with a capacity to match the growing number of smart devices. Birmingham is a prototype of the super-powered, connected city, which is not only offering free internet services to all, but also accelerating a revolution in the mobile broadband experience.”

The service, which is being operated by Virgin’s partner Global Reach Technology, is initially available around Victoria Square and Moor Street and in the “coming weeks” this will be expanded out to include Navigation Street, High Street, Broad Street, Bennetts Hill and the area around the Cathedral. Customers seeking to access the service just need to look for the SSID ‘_Bham Free WiFi‘.

In addition, the deployment includes a new small cell (miniature base stations) hosting service that will enable UK mobile network operators to boost their existing 3G and 4G wireless networks by giving them the flexibility to add extra capacity into their platforms where it is needed.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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