O2 Announces UK-Wide Wireless Hot Spot Scheme

UK wireless carrier O2 has announced its intention to roll out a free country-wide Wi-Fi network.

The company is initially planning to set-up this up using its current 450 Wi-Fi hotspots, although is planning to add sites in restaurants and shops and other locations at a later stage, The BBC reports.

O2 has said that people will be able to access hotspots by simply signing-up for the free service, which will be available to both customers and non-customers of the network.

Jeremy Green, a principal analyst with technology resource firm Ovum, has called the move "step in the right direction" for the company.

O2 also informed that only 20 per cent of users who have access to the current Wi-Fi hotspots via the company's tariffs use the service actively.

Tim Sefton, the company’s business development director, told BBC News: “We know that Wi-Fi as a technology has great potential and can be a very fast service, however customers are discouraged by barriers which include complexity in activation, uncertainty of where Wi-Fi is free and the variable quality of the current experience.”