Cisco has today announced that it has been chosen by O2 to spearhead a project that will roll-out free, public access Wi-Fi in the City of London. The initiative, also in conjunction with Cornerstone Telecommunication Infrastructure (CTIL) and the City of London Corporation, will see Cisco deploying next generation outdoor access point technology to offer internet connectivity to more than 400,000 people working in the Square Mile.
The multi-million pound project will be one of the largest investments in wireless infrastructure ever seen in London and will be supported by Cisco's Aironet 1560 Series, which will provide the throughput capacity needed for today's bandwidth-hungry devices. Utilising Cisco's technology, the aim is for the network to be more technically advanced than those found in other leading global financial centres, including New York and Singapore.
"Free Wi-Fi connectivity is now a pre-requisite for any city looking to drive innovation and compete on a globe scale," highlights Peter Karlstromer, SVP, Global Service Provider, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco.
"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."
Combining with O2's network, the technology will deliver the flexibility to balance the demand for wireless coverage with seamless deployment. The initiative will enable users to enjoy high bandwidth services like video-calling and video streaming over free City Wi-Fi following a one-time only registration.
"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" said Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, O2.
The project will replace the current service provided by The Cloud and will be fully operational by Autumn 2017.