Green Taxi Firm Adds Free Wi-Fi To London Cabs

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Greentomatocars serves up free Internet for passengers ahead of the Olympics

A London cab company has rolled out free Wi-Fi across its fleet of 300 green vehicles ahead of the Olympic Games this summer.

Greentomatocars, launched in 2006 as London’s first green minicab company, will bring Wi-Fi access to its hybrid vehicles (including Toyota Prius cars), people carriers and executive cars.

The company says that the iniative makes London the first capital city in Eirope to have an entire fleet of Wi-Fi enabled minicabs and will help promote London’s digital economy by assisting with seamless Internet access.

Green Taxi hotspots

The service is powered by Wireless Logic and uses 3G networks with individual networked SIM cards in each car. It allows for download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2Mbps. Passengers can access the service by using the password ‘ilovefreewifi’ in any of the firm’s cabs.

Greentomatocars founder Jonny Goldstone says that London is home to more software and IT companies than any other European city and that the digital and hi-tech sector is expected to account for a third of the capital’s growth over the next twenty years. He believes that seamless digital connectivity will be vital to fulfilling these projections.

London has long been recognised as a hub for technological innovation. In 2008 it was named the Wi-Fi capital of the world and in 2012 I think it would be fair to say it’s now the free Wi-Fi capital,” said Goldstone. “You don’t have to work in the technology industry to see the importance of connectivity. With free in-car Wi-Fi we are able to offer our customers the access they need to stay connected.”

This follows the lead of London Underground, which agreed a deal with Virgin Media to provide Wi-Fi to 80 stations on the network in time for the Olympics. Forty-one stations now have Internet access and the service has proved popular with 100,000 people using it during the first four weeks of operation.

The Cloud has won a separate deal to provide Wi-Fi connections at all 56 stations on the London Overground. Customers will receive 60 minutes of free Internet each day and unlike the Underground service, will remain free after the Olympics have concluded.

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