Nokia is funding free Wi-Fi in selected locations across London as part of its marketing campaign for its new Lumia Windows Phone smartphones.
The company said the sponsorship of the service, which will only last for two months, will be used to gauge users' web browsing behaviour while on the move in the UK capital, and the best locations for future Wi-Fi hotspots.
After this pilot, according to a report carried by Mobile News, Nokia and Wi-Fi provider Spectrum Interactive are planning a large-scale roll-out across London starting in early 2012.
The London-based trial will use Wi-Fi access points installed in 26 street-side telephone kiosks owned by location-based advertising company Spectrum Interactive--which is also supporting the pilot project. Each kiosk has been recently upgraded with DSL for backhaul.
Commenting on the service, John Nichols, head of marketing at Nokia, told Mobile News: "On-the-go Internet access has become an indispensible part of modern life. From tourists finding their way around the capital, to commuters updating Facebook or browsing on the move, we all depend on mobile to share our everyday experiences and enhance our lives."
Nokia and Spectrum have indicated that similar networks are being planned elsewhere in the UK, and in other countries. Nokia has launched free Wi-Fi services in the past. In 2007, the company sponsored The Cloud, the most usual partner for Wi-Fi service provision, to provide coverage to the City of London financial district.
Spectrum Interactive is also well known for Wi-Fi services, and currently runs 1,800 Wi-Fi-equipped kiosks around the country, with 1,000 of these access points in London.
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