BT supercharges Wi-Fi in London

BT has introduced its InLinks public Wi-Fi points that offer speeds of up to 1Gbps for people wanting to use the internet while out and about in the capital.

The units have been implemented first in Camden, replacing many of the street-mounted payphones in the area and will also allow users to make free phone calls and access free digital services from the points.

It's the result of a collaboration between BT, Intersection and outdoor advertising company Primesight. This is only the first stage in the plan, other areas of London will be able to take advantage of the technology in the coming months.

"This is the phone box of the future. InLinkUK from BT brings the payphone up-to-date and gives people the services they need and use every day in the 21st century - and the bonus is it's all for free," Gerry McQuade, CEO, BT Wholesale & Ventures, said.

"But as well as the free services - ultrafast Wi-Fi, phone calls, rapid mobile charging and local information councils and community organisations will be able to use the screens to provide up-to-the minute news and information to local residents. And just as the phone box has evolved, the new InLinks could evolve to use the internet of things, with connected sensors to monitor and help us understand and improve our environment."

Services available from the freestanding units include real-time information such as tube updates, weather forecast and community messaging, allowing people around the area to keep in touch. Phone services include free calls to mobiles and landlines, mobile phone charging and access to a new BT phonebook app.

Local services tailored specifically for people visiting the area include maps to help people find their way around the local area, directions to local attractions and other local information services.

The units are funded by advertising on the digital displays, allowing everything to be free. Such advertising content displayed on the screen will be relevant to what the user is looking for.

"InLinks introduce the technology we need to create a better urban environment. InLinks in the future will feature sensors to capture real-time environmental data, such as pollution and traffic conditions, never seen before in the UK at such a micro level," said Matt Bird, general manager, InLinkUK.

"InLinks' free connectivity and essential digital services will create connected corridors throughout the city to connect businesses to customers, residents to local services and visitors to a new part of London," he added.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.