Heathrow’s T5 is giant Wi-Fi hotspot

New terminal becomes T-Mobile’s largest UK Wi-Fi hotspot.

Heathrow's much-criticised new terminal, T5, celebrated some good news this week, switching on T-Mobile's Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the building.

Spanning the mammoth equivalent of 50 football pitches, the new installation makes it T-Mobile's largest UK-based Wi-Fi hotspot.

The new HotSpot service will deliver internet speeds of up to 8Mbps for laptop users, offering valuable connectivity to business travelers who are expected to make up quite a chunk of the 27 million passengers passing through T5 annually.

"T-Mobile is committed to meet the increasing demand for people on the move to be able to connect to the internet when and where they need to "whether for business or pleasure," said Richard Warmsley, head of internet on the move at T-Mobile UK.

"One in four new contract customers are signing up for our mobile broadband service and user numbers are set to quadruple in 2008. It's clear this trend is set to continue and customers now expect to be able to hook up to the internet anywhere and at any time, particularly at major transport hubs like Terminal 5."

Non-T-Mobile customers or those not signed up with a participating partner can take advantage of the service for one hour for 5 or 24 hours for just 10.

"Seamless internet connectivity is an important part of our commitment to innovation and will form a key element in the future of travel. We hope Terminal 5 passengers enjoy the experience," said Ian Denchfield, head of commercial telecoms at BAA.

In separate business news this week, British Airways (BA), which has exclusive run of the new terminal, opened a dedicated business check-in desk.

"We've had more than seven million customers through Terminal 5 and have received great feedback - it's working well now. We're looking forward to moving a further 30 longhaul flights into the terminal on September 17," said Paul Nickson, Terminal 5 customer experience manager.

"This increased capacity means that even more business class customers are flying through Terminal 5 so it's a good time to introduce the dedicated zone."

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