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O2 UK Pick Cisco to Deliver 1Gbps Free Public Wi-Fi Network in London

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 (1:42 pm) by Mark Jackson (Score 443)
london city 2017 uk

Mobile operator O2 UK (Telefonica) has today announced that they’ve chosen Cisco to help deliver their ultrafast “gigabit speed” capable free public WiFi network across the City of London, which is currently still aiming to be “fully operational” by Autumn 2017.

The new “multi million pound project” service, which is an upgrade from the old network that was provided by The Cloud (Sky), reflects a partnership between the City of London Corporation, O2 and Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure (CTIL). The latter is a joint mobile network management and sharing venture between Vodafone and O2.

Apparently the new service will be based off a Small Cell network, which can be installed on top of street furniture (e.g. lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns). Modern Small Cells can be used for both boosting 4G and providing public WiFi connectivity. As a result masses of visitors and more than 400,000 people working in the Square Mile should soon be able to benefit from the new Internet connectivity.

Peter Karlstromer, Cisco’s SVP of Global Service, said:

“Free Wi-Fi connectivity is now a pre-requisite for any city looking to drive innovation and compete on a globe scale. The deployment with O2, and partnership with CTIL and the City of London, is a perfect example of the role that cities can play in connecting people.

We are excited to continue to support the roll out of free Wi-Fi across London and ensure that next generation connectivity is accessible to everyone.”

Derek McManus, O2’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader and we needed a partner that would be able to provide cutting-edge technology to help us realise this. We’re pleased to be working with Cisco to support this initiative using its robust, speedy and seamless technology to create a Wi-Fi network and enable the capital to help retain its position as a leading global centre.”

Today’s announcement is hardly a surprise because O2 has already announced an £80 million investment in London’s small cell network with Cisco. Under the deal Cisco will support the new WiFi network with their Aironet 1560 Series of outdoor access points, which should provide the required throughput capacity needed for today’s bandwidth-hungry devices.

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2 Responses
  1. AndyH

    Interesting how the same thing from BT brought widespread criticism in the comments, claims of misselling etc. with the mention of 1Gbps WiFi.

    Another similar topic and there’s not a single comment.

  2. PaulM

    This is multiple access points using MIMO, not a single access point in a few streets. This is basically a network not a hotspot.

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