Bankers to get 1Gbps free Wi-Fi in City of London deal

Area with just 8,000 residents to benefit from small cell

Bankers are to enjoy free 1Gbps Wi-Fi thanks to a deal brokered by the City of London Corporation intended to bring high speeds to the Square Mile.

The multimillion-pound project is one of the largest investments in wireless infrastructure ever seen in London, said the local authority responsible for governing the City.

Under the deal, Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure (CTIL), a joint venture between Vodafone and Telefonica, will run the 15-year wireless network in conjunction with O2.

CTIL will build 4G mobile small cells, which will be housed in lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns to provide enhanced mobile coverage at street level, as well as installing a Wi-Fi network which will be free for the public to use. The project will replace the current service provided by The Cloud and be fully operational by Autumn 2017.

The network will be more technically advanced than those found in other leading global financial centres, including New York, bragged the release.

Mark Boleat, chairman of the City of London Corporation's Policy and Resources Committee, said: "Soon, residents, visitors and workers in the City will be able to enjoy uninterrupted wireless connectivity, and this project should ensure that wireless 'black spots' in the Square Mile become a thing of the past."

Malcolm Collins, CTIL managing director, said small cells will be key for operators in the future. "We will offer an innovative wholesale solution that will enable them to do so efficiently and effectively," he added.

The residential population of the City of London is approximately 8,000 people. However, more than 400,000 people commute into the City every day for work and over 10 million visit as tourists every year. ®

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