Super-fast free WiFi launched across city centre

Virgin Media Business launches super-fast free WiFi across Birmingham city centre

•    Unlimited free Wi-Fi now available in Birmingham city centre
•    Eight locations to be connected, providing 2.5 square miles of coverage
•    Mobile operators now able to keep pace with demand for 3G and 4G services

Birmingham City Council and Virgin Media Business have today launched free public WiFi across the city centre, giving residents, shoppers and tourists access to unlimited data services on the go.

Access points – roughly the size of a shoe-box – have been mounted on lamp-posts and other street furniture across the city centre and connected back into Virgin Media Business’ nationwide fibre optic network to ensure unlimited, super-fast connectivity.

People will be able to do everything from streaming videos, to staying in touch with friends on Twitter or Instagram, to looking up the latest bus timetables via the hotspot ID ‘_Bham Free WiFi’. With no usage limits, people are also able to download content or surf the web for as long as they need.

Residents and visitors in the busiest parts of the city centre will be the first to benefit from the new service, which is currently available around Victoria Square and Moor Street. Further access points are already being deployed across Navigation Street, High Street, Broad Street, Bennetts Hill and the area around the Cathedral, with completion set for the coming weeks.

Duncan Higgins, director of marketing at Virgin Media Business, said: “This exciting new technology has the potential to supercharge people’s internet services with a capacity to match the growing number of smart devices.

“Birmingham is a prototype of the super-powered, connected city, which is not only offering free internet services to all, but also accelerating a revolution in the mobile broadband experience.”

Cllr James McKay, cabinet member for a green, safe and smart city, Birmingham City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this unrivalled connectivity in some the best-loved spaces in the city, particularly as more visitors arrive in the coming weeks to enjoy the Frankfurt Christmas Market and other festive celebrations.

“This announcement builds on our connectivity plans for the city which aim to ensure that our citizens and businesses have access to the highest quality and affordable internet services, and establishes Birmingham as the best connected city in the UK.”

The free Wi-Fi service is operated for Virgin Media Business by its partner Global Reach Technology Ltd, and will ensure that everyone in the city centre can find a way to get connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, the new small cell hosting service will enable UK mobile operators to supercharge their existing wireless networks by giving them the flexibility to add extra capacity into their mobile networks exactly where it is needed.

ENDS

A picture for media use, supporting this story, is available from the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed

Media Contacts

Reach everyone at the Virgin Media Business press office:
020 7861 3836
VirginMediaBusiness@Bell-Pottinger.com

About Virgin Media Business

Virgin Media Business is the largest business-to-business Virgin brand and part of the Virgin Media group, the UK’s first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services. The division prides itself on delivering innovative, high quality solutions that break down the barriers facing UK organisations today.

Businesses and public sector organisations around the country are using the Virgin Media Business network and skilled service teams to deliver far more than just high speed connectivity.

Staff are located at 40 offices across the country, meaning Virgin Media Business really is closer to its customers. Organisations working with Virgin Media Business include Knight Frank, Telefonica, London Grid for Learning, Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Cambridge County Council.

It has the UK’s only nationwide fibre optic network, carrying 35 per cent of all business broadband traffic and is already able to reach 85 per cent of businesses in the UK.

Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.

To see analysis on the current issues surrounding business-to-business telecoms please visit our blog or get involved at http://twitter.com/vmbusiness

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