O2 has signed a new multi-million pound deal which will see free WiFi delivered to business, residents and visitors in the City of London over the next 15 years.
The operator has partnered up with the City of London corporate, claiming the investment is one of the largest into wireless infrastructure ever seen in the capital. Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL), a joint venture from O2 and Vodafone to manage network infrastructure, will also manage the project alongside the pair.
CTIL will make the project possible through small 4G mobile cells installed on lamp posts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns. It claims the move will ensure the City of London is best placed to become an early adopted of 5G. The new service will replace the current service used by The Cloud and is expected to be fully operational by Autumn this year. O2 added it will be more technically advanced than similar projects used by global financial centres in New York.
O2 chief operating officer Derek McManus said: “Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader. Connectivity plays a central role in supporting the future growth of our economy, enabling us to communicate and trade more easily, attracting overseas business and creating new jobs. In fact, our own research tells us that an effective rollout of 5G connectivity will add over £7 billion a year to the economy by 2026.”