EE to roll out mobile hotspots in 50 cabs across two cities
EE has announced a deal to provide mobile broadband services in 50 taxis in London and Birmingham as part of its efforts to showcase the benefits of 4G.
The free service will be available for three months in 40 taxis in London and ten in Birmingham, with the hackney carriages easily identifiable by their aqua livery.
Passengers eager to use the service must send EE a text message from their smartphone and use a personalised code to access the wireless hotspot created by a MiFi router.
At the moment, EE is UK’s only 4G operator and the company says that its research shows that 200,000 black cab journeys are made in London every day, but more than 40 percent of smartphone owners have complained of being late for a meeting because of traffic. EE adds that one in five commuters say that their day would be less stressful if they had Internet access in a taxi.
“The first motorised black cabs hit the streets in 1901, nearly 70 years before the first smartphone was available to consumers, now we are bringing this icon of British transport into the 21st century with a 4G make-over,” said Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand, EE. “We hope this trial will demonstrate the benefits of a superior online experience as users can browse, download, catch up on emails, Tweet and check Facebook literally at the speed of light. We can’t make taxi journeys any faster but we can certainly speed up people’s smartphones!”
Last December, Transport for London (TfL) gave approval to an ad-sponsored system from Tech City startup EyeTease that effectively turned cabs into mobile hotspots, while green taxi firm Greentomatocars rolled out free Wi-Fi across its fleet of 300 green vehicles ahead of the Olympic Games last summer.
EE also provides its customers with access to the London Underground Wi-Fi network after agreeing a deal with Virgin Media.
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