Telecommunications company O2 is teaming up with retailers and events venues to offer a free-to-access Wi-Fi service across the UK.
O2’s new Wi-Fi platform aims to at least double the coverage currently offered by its rivals in the UK through premium hotspots and will immediately replace its existing 450 hotspots it has in partnership with The Cloud.
By signing up to the system, O2 and non-O2 customers will be able to access the service free of charge at participating locations, and the company confirmed to Retail Gazette that it is actively looking for retailers who wish to support the scheme.
Business Development Director Tim Sefton said: “O2 Wi-Fi hotspots will bring high quality public Wi-Fi access to the majority of mobile users.
“Only 20 per cent of people who have access to free public Wi-Fi on O2 tariffs actively use it despite the majority of devices being Wi-Fi enabled.
“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.”
O2 announced earlier this month that it is to close 40 stores in the UK and make 250 redundancies as it looks to reorganise its business model.
Investment in the company’s mobile network is set to increase by 25 per cent this year, through not just extending the reach of its Wi-Fi services but also improving the servicing and offering customers access to a suite of layered technologies.
Sefton added: “O2 is integrating new layers of technology into the existing network to enable a seamless and sustained customer experience. We are technology-agnostic and driven entirely by our customers’ needs.
“We believe that services should be delivered in the best possible way, across multiple networks, supported by different technologies.”