BT bags free Wi-Fi network deal in Cardiff

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BT is soon going to install free public Wi-Fi service across Cardiff’s city centre. As part of the superconnected cities vision contract, the firm will be seen using city street infrastructure and lamp posts to boost up the Welsh capital’s 3G and 4G networks which will in future be sold on a wholesale basis to mobile operators.

The service will initially cover city’s busiest areas and streets including Queen Street, The Hayes, the High Street and St Mary Street also covering areas around City Hall connecting to more than 1.4 million residents and almost 19 million annual visitors across Cardiff. The deal will later on be extended to the Cardiff Bay area in 2014.

BT confirmed that free WiFi access will be provided to all broadband users all the time, but for other users the service might be available free of cost only ‘initially’. No information is available as to when will the free service change to a payable service.

The company said that in addition to installing Wi-Fi infrastructure, it will also place kits which will help boost up 3G and 4G signals in the city.

“Initially, access to the Cardiff Council Wi-Fi service will be free and unlimited to all, whilst BT Broadband customers will always be able to get free, unlimited usage,” announced BT in its press release.

Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member for Finance and Economic Development, said “These wireless technologies will add to the ongoing investment in fibre broadband that BT is making across Cardiff and give the city a real competitive edge when it comes to attracting new visitors and businesses”.

“This will also significantly improve the speed, reach, strength and reliability of 3G and 4G mobile services offered to mobile and smart device users.”