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Virgin Media to provide free Wi-Fi on London Underground during Olympics

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Virgin Media has won a contract to provide free Wi-Fi in the London Underground in time for the Olympics. The service will later be available for a fee.

wi-fi and Bluetooth
wi-fi and Bluetooth

The Mayor of London's office has announced that Virgin Media is to provide free Wi-Fi on the London Underground during the Olympics and Paralympics this summer. We knew before that a plan was in place with an undisclosed service provider, but this is the first time we've heard solid details. Virgin will have hotspots in around 80 of the Tube's 270 stations (down from the 120 initially planned), and the service will only work on platforms, ticket offices, and escalators — no access while the trains are on the move, unfortunately. The service will be free when it initially goes live in July 2012, but will later be offered to London commuters at a price.

The finalization of the deal will come as a relief to Transport for London, which has been trying to secure mobile access before this summer's Games for a while. Last year a plan by Huawei to provide cellular access throughout the network fell through, but with further options from Starbucks and the largest free Wi-Fi zone in Europe it doesn't look like tourists will find it too difficult to get connected on the go.

Thanks, Speedbird!