Nokia has reportedly pulled out of a scheme to give free Wi-Fi access to Londoners.
The handset manufacturer joined a pilot of the project, which put Wi-Fi hotspots on phone boxes, last November. However, the other two companies in that pilot, location-based advertising service Selective Media and phone box owner Spectrum Interactive, have now announced an extension of the scheme that does not involve Nokia.
The extension will see the programme rolled out to all of Spectrum's 1,800 phone boxes, and customers logging onto those hotspots will get vouchers from nearby shops, provided through Selective's systems.
"Nokia were sponsors of the initial trial; although we are no longer involved in the project we are delighted to see the roll out offering more London Shoppers the opportunity to use Wi-Fi," Nokia was quoted by Mobile Europe on Thursday as saying.
The handset manufacturer did not provide an explanation for its withdrawal. However, Selective Media chief Chris Bull reportedly told Mobile Europe that Nokia had been sponsoring the scheme as part of its promotional campaign for the Lumia 800 Windows Phone, the launch for which has now long since passed.
"Following the completion of that successful campaign, we have now opened this opportunity up to more brands so that they can reach Londoners through targeted, location-based promotions," Bull said. "Plans are also in place for a city-wide and national rollout of advertising-funded public Wi-Fi."