Another municipal WiFi network, but this time, not for free.
But is there really that much demand for open-air surfing? After all, staring at a laptop screen in the sunshine is not a great experience – especially in an area where so many cafes have wi-fi access.
The network’s backers think one of the big attractions will be the ability to use wi-fi enabled phones to make cheap calls using Skype or other internet telephony services.
It’s hard to see why well-paid City workers would bother with the extra effort needed to make a wi-fi call – but the City of London Corporation believes it will prove attractive to migrant workers on construction sites.
Public wi-fi networks, free and paid-for, are spreading quickly, but there are mixed reports on just how much they are being used. Some believe the more advanced Wimax technology is the real answer to open-air internet access.
So the City of London’s network will provide a major test of whether the public really wants to surf on the move – and whether there is any money to be made from it.
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