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O2's free central London Wi-Fi network goes live ahead of Olympics

Key spots in the West End now come with free, ad-supported O2 Wi-Fi, shortly before the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

O2 has switched on its free Wi-Fi service in London's West End, just ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony.

The network is free to use as it is supported by advertisements that show up on the user's screen. It covers Parliament Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

London
O2's free Wi-Fi network in certain parts of London has gone live.

Back in January, O2 struck deals with Westminster City Council and Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council, to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots on 'street furniture', such as street lamps.

If those networks see strong demand, the idea is to roll out free O2 Wi-Fi in other areas of London. The operator has designs on a national deployment.

According to The Telegraph, the areas in Westminster that went live on Wednesday will be closely followed by Covent Garden. O2 is striking advertising deals with local businesses to support the network, with the aim being to offer location-based deals to passers-by.

O2 is not the only operator to be offering free Wi-Fi in London during the Olympics. However, while Virgin Media's London Underground Wi-Fi network will start charging after the Olympics are done, O2's will remain free.

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