Cisco hardware is set to underpin O2 and Vodafone’s roll-out of free public Wi-Fi in London.
The new network will use Cisco’s outdoor access point, the Aironet 1560 Series, to provide high-bandwidth connectivity points in the Square Mile area.
Cisco’s technology will sit in passive physical infrastructure provided by O2’s joint venture with Vodafone, Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure, while O2 will provide the network core.
The network, which will replace the existing The Cloud service from Sky, is expected to be go live in autumn this year. Users will be able to access the network for free after a one-time registration.
Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, O2, said: “Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader and we needed a partner that would be able to provide cutting-edge technology to help us realise this.”
He praised Cisco’s technology as “robust, speed and seamless”.
Peter Karlstromer, SVP, Global Service Provider, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco, said: “Free Wi-Fi connectivity is now a pre-requisite for any city looking to drive innovation and compete on a globe scale.”
The multi-million pound contract with the City of London, announced in April, will also see 4G-connected small cells built by CTIL being housed in street furniture, such as lamp posts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns, across the Square Mile in central London.
CTIL will offer this infrastructure on a wholesale basis to all UK operators to allow them to enhance their mobile coverage in the area.
In May, O2 announced it is spending £80 million to install 1,400 small cells in London by the end of this year, with Cisco providing integration services. The operator aims to improve mobile signal for its own subscribers.