O2 launches free Wi-Fi in London ahead of Games

As of today those roaming certain streets of London will be able to enjoy completely free Wi-Fi courtesy of O2.

The mobile operator struck a deal with Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to launch the service for London's busy summer, and connectivity in the capital comes into effect today.

The O2 Wi-Fi will span Exhibition Road, Kensington High Street, Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, Oxford/Regent Street, Leicester Square and Piccadilly, ensuring the net is well cast over the tourist hotspots as the world converges on the capital for the Olympics.

If you’re wondering how O2 has managed to make connecting totally free for users, the service is subsidised by adverts that appear on the display of your device. The homepage content refreshes automatically depending on your location and House of Fraser will be the “first exclusive advertiser” featuring across the outdoor network.

“We are now providing Londoners and visitors alike with fast, free, reliable Wi-Fi when visiting some of the busiest areas in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea,” said Gavin Franks, MD of O2 Wi-Fi. “This comes after a succession of venue announcements with partners like Costa Coffee, House of Fraser and McDonald’s,” referring to the numerous indoor locations where Londoners have already been enjoying free Wi-Fi.

But being able to get online wherever you are - even if you are out in the street – will appeal to many, and O2 dubs the service a “landmark” addition.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson threw in his two cents with the announcement, adding "With millions of extra people coming to town for the Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit, and the addition of free Wi-Fi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintain that reputation."

The capital will certainly be put through its technological paces over the Olympic period; check out this insight into the tech behind the Games.