Posts Tagged ‘free wifi’
First Great Western have announced that 53 of their high-speed trains will have free WiFi for passengers from June 2014. It’ll take a while because the company have to equip the trains with the relevant equipment.
FGW did a deal with Nomad Digital which means the partnership will roll out the free WiFi across the rail operator’s fleet.
The company’s free WiFi trials of its class 180 trains have been well received said FGW’s Managing Director Mark Hopwood: “I am delighted that we are able to extend this free service, and within the next year all High Speed and Sleeper fleet customers will be able to read their emails, browse the web, or simply catch up with friends while on the move.”
This comes on the back of Virgin Media offering free WiFito commuters on the London Underground, while Sky’s ‘Cloud’ offers WiFi at the stations of the London Overground. If this keeps up, all the train operators will have to follow suit, if only through professional jealousy.
Here’s hoping. It is about time we got something back for the ridiculous price rises in tickets.
Microsoft have teamed-up with The Cloud to offer unlimited free WiFi at a number of railway stations across the UK, which will hopefully lower a few mobile and tablet bills.
There’ll be no restrictions on how much data you transfer and you’ll be able to surf for as long as you please, which is a huge improvement on the cruddy services which ask for payment details or give you 15 minute slots.
Basically, The Cloud are able to remove time limits because the non-restricted service is being sponsored by Microsoft as they try and push Office 365.
“This campaign is designed to help commuters tap into new ways of working. The mobile workforce is constantly growing and, as such, so is the need to access mobile internet,” says Phillipa Snare, chief marketing officer at Microsoft’s UK division. “Having free WiFi available is key to this because it enables people to get online quickly and easily as they travel. Simply put, our aim in sponsoring unlimited free Wi-Fi is to ensure users are able to work from anywhere – in the office, at home and in between.”
There’s no word on which stations will be getting this service as yet, other than it will cover “selected Network Rail stations.”
Vince Russell, The Cloud’s managing director, said “In sponsoring free WiFi at these stations, Microsoft is supporting the modern, mobile worker and ultimately helping boost productivity in UK businesses.”
Download things from torrents at train stations and see how many letters they get telling them off for misuse.
Skype has penned an agreement with someone called Wicoms to get free WiFi in British shops. And that’s absolutely free to users, who will log in with Skype IDs to get free internet access on their phones and tablets.
“Our partnership with Wicoms enhances our ability to make Skype universally accessible and expands on our WiFi strategy, which today provides paid WiFi access at over one million locations worldwide,” Skype Access programme manager Shadi Mahassel said in a statement.
Presumably, businesses will want in on this in the hope that they’ll get increased footfall and that they’ll be able to target offers and deals to visiting customers directly to their handsets.
Wicoms managing director Owen Geddes says that this will help “brick-and-mortar retailers effectively compete with online retailers”, adding: ”By [providing] Free Skype WiFi on-premise, business owners and high street retailers can open a dialogue with potential customers and encourage sales conversion with the power of the mobile phone.”
Video games retailer, Game, has been in a place trickier than an underwater level on Sonic lately. So, in a bid to lure us back into their stores, they are offering free WiFi access which you can probably use by standing at their door while buying absolutely nothing.
This free wireless connection will be delivered via a new partnership with BT and will appear in stores by Christmas. Meanwhile, you’ll get on with your life with your 3G connection no doubt.
Game are also looking at a new, free smartphone app which will allow customers to read product reviews and news, watch videos and get special offers, which is more like it.
This is an attempt to drag the company out of the doldrums after it briefly went into administration, before being bought by OpCapita who owns Comet.
It would seem the fortunes of the store rest on a big gaming release, and thankfully for Game, FIFA13 is due out, so keep an eye out for good package deals on that.
O2 is offering free Wi-Fi to bits of London as of today, and frankly, the rest of us can go whistle. Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Exhibition Road will all be getting the free WiFi.
“We are proud to announce that today, we can bring O2 WiFi to some of the busiest streets and squares of central London,” said Gavin Franks, managing director of O2 WiFi. “We are now providing Londoners and visitors alike with fast, free, reliable WiFi.”
One good thing about this is that O2 are giving everyone, regardless of the network or broadband provider they use, free WiFi.
“With millions of extra people coming to town for Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit, and the addition of free WiFi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintaining that reputation,” said Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, in a statement.
He then tripped over a hatstand and used a Victorian racial epithet. Probably.
You may only go in Debenhams to use the toilets in there (it’s the posh version of a McDonald’s ‘McPiss’), but now you can blag free WiFi from them as well!
The chain’s 167 stores will now have free WiFi thanks to a partnership with O2. Of course, this is designed to ‘enhance your shopping experience’, enabling you to order items for home delivery and check sizes while in store, or whatever.
You’ll be looking a smut no doubt.
Debenhams will promote this new service and their app to customers over the coming weeks and will be trying to tie the online experience together with the retail slog. So, away from checking availability of products and scanning barcodes, discount vouchers will also be available on the app, not to mention a store guide, designed to help you find things more easily.
O2 WiFi MD Gavin Franks said: “We are delighted to add Debenhams to our growing portfolio. Debenhams has realised the power of using in-store connectivity as a basis to bring innovative services to customers. This marks a continuation of our fresh thinking that has seen the rapid growth of O2 Wi-Fi.”
Debenhams director Simon Foster added: “We’re seeing the shape of shopping in the future emerging right before our eyes. With over one million customers already with our app on their phones, free Wi-Fi in stores has the potential to transform how people shop.”
Virgin Media has switched on the free Wi-Fi at four of London’s tube stations ahead of London 2012: The Festival Of Grating Disappointment.
So, if you’re at King’s Cross, Warren Street, Oxford Circus or Green Park, you’ll be able to tweet ‘I’M ON THE TUBE! TWEETING! OMG!’ at everyone until the entire online world blocks you for being a hooting poo-hammock.
Of course, this will roll-out to more stations, 120 in total by the end of the year, with Victoria and Euston going live this weekend.
Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media said: “This is a truly historic moment as we connect millions of Tube passengers to the wonderful world of the internet for the first time ever. Our plans for getting London Underground online were very ambitious from the start and, in less than just three months, we’ve launched a major new service, making London one of the world’s leading connected cities.”
Users will need to register to use the service which will be free to anyone for the summer. After that, it’ll be restricted to Virgin Media customers, while those not on Virgin will have a restricted service, which means you’ll only be able to get live travel news, Time Out, Spotify and MyMovies.net.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Our partnership with Virgin Media to make WiFi available on Tube platforms will be of tremendous benefit as building world class connectivity is critical to supporting new businesses and the jobs they create, especially in the high-tech and creative sectors.”
He then fell over a hat-stand and said something that sounded a bit racist.
Hello commuters in London (or, if you prefer, the Most Miserable People On Earth)! Want something that will provide brief cheer, only to turn into inevitable complaint? Good. You’re going to get an hour’s worth of free wireless internet per day thanks to a deal between London Overground and The Cloud.
It’ll rollout across 56 stations and kicks off in summer with the project being completed before the end of the year. You’ll be asked to carry out a one-time registration process first.
There’s no news on how fast the network will be, but The Cloud is confident that users will be able to “stream media within the vicinity of the station”. It’ll probably crash and burn when the Olympic influx arrives.
Steve Murphy, managing director of LOROL (that’s London Overground to you) says: “Access to the internet is no longer limited solely to home or to the workplace, and people’s expectation is to be able to work and communicate effectively and seamlessly while they’re on the move. We’re delighted to support this initiative which will bring reliable, free Wi-Fi to London Overground’s customers.”
The stations expected to have the Wi-Fi network in place by the end of 2012 include Willesden Junction and West Hampstead – North London, New Cross Gate, Forest Hill, West Croydon and Norwood Junction – South London, Surrey Quays, Dalston, Wapping and Hackney Central – East London and Kensington Olympia and Shepherd’s Bush – West London. The rest of the country, you can go back to muttering and swearing about London.
Tesco’s free Wi-Fi service has been rolled out nationwide after a successful in-store trial. So, any of you shopping in any of the Tesco Extra stores will now have access to free, unlimited WiFi access by signing up with your Clubcard number.
Take in your laptop, illegally download a load of stuff and Tesco will be the one getting in trouble, not you. Right? Obviously, that was a joke and we don’t (we do) advise you partake in that sort of thing. Okay lawyers?
If you don’t have a Clubcard, you get 15 minutes free every 24 hours.
Mike McNamara, chief information officer at Tesco, said: “We’re proud to be the first UK supermarket to offer nationwide access to free Wi-Fi. People are increasingly using a variety of digital services and we’re excited by our customers’ reaction to the new service.”
During a recent customer survey, 82% said they would definitely use the service again, while all found it “easy to use.” Other customers said it was “an excellent idea,” and “great for finding product locations in-store on the Tesco app.”
Excellent for seeing if you can get cheaper shopping elsewhere, presumably?
As of today, there’ll be free wi-fi in central London courtesy of Nokia. This will run until the end of the year, enabling the general public to use the high-speed service in certain parts of the city.
If deemed a success, Nokia plans to turn it into a fully fledged free service in 2012. Start illegally downloading things on their networks now kids!
Nokia has set up 26 hotspots around the West End. Victoria, Marylebone and Westminster will also get access points.
And no, you won’t need to register or sign in to use the WiFi, so it is already vastly superior to the teeth grindingly irritating BT Openzone.
These hotspots are built around links that run at 20 megabits per second but download speeds will be limited to a maximum of 1 megabit per user.
“The trial is going to help us understand what people are using it for so we can improve it in the future,” said Craig Hepburn, Nokia’s director of digital and social media.
On top of this, there’s still talk ongoing which aims to put WiFi in London tube stations, so you can tweet about your miserable commute and the like.
The rest of the country, of course, can go whistle.
York, with it’s walls, vikings and cobbled streets, isn’t best known for its modernity.
However, the city is to embrace the future a lot quicker than some of its supposedly bigger cousins by becoming a free WiFi zone as it hopes to attract more visitors and businesses.
St Helen’s Square and Coney Street will be the first areas to pilot a free wireless connection, which will be open to any wireless device. The Digital York scheme is part of City of York Council’s Reinvigorate York Initiative.
The trial will go live in November and if deemed successful, it will be rolled out across the entire city (well, within the city walls at least) with public access being around 2.4Ghz.
Council leader James Alexander said this was an “exciting, innovative and dynamic proposal.”
He continued: “Internet access is now an essential part of our everyday working and private lives. Some cities on the continent provide free Wi-Fi access, but very few do in the UK. The Digital York scheme is part of a step change in the ambition we have for the city and we hope that the initial trial will be successful and provide a real boost to local businesses, visitors and shoppers.”
Could we see larger cities following suit? Many places have free WiFi, but are still requiring patrons to ask for a password from businesses before gaining access to Free WiFi. Is this the beginning of Britain finally embracing technology?
Travelodge may not be the finest place to spend a few nights, but at least now you can ignore your basic surroundings to look at disgusting filth on your smartphones and laptops.
That’s because the hotel chain has announced that they’re going to now give free WiFi access to customers in 140 of Travelodge Bar Cafés hotels from the 12th September.
“We are always looking at ways to help our customers get even more value for their money whilst staying in one our Travelodge hotels,” said Travelodge Chief Executive Guy Parsons.
“Our customer research has highlighted that in today’s modern world travellers want internet connectivity whilst on the move, so that they can work and cyber-socialise around the clock, and with the popularity of smartphones reaching an all time high, mobile internet access is becoming more of a necessity in every day life.
“Therefore we have decided to make all of our Bar Cafes a free Wi-Fi hub; enabling our customers to enjoy the benefit of free internet whilst staying with us.”
So there you have it. You can “cyber-socialise” ’til you’re blue in the nutsack and pretend you’re Jason Manford without having to fork out a hefty bill.
Plenty of regular passengers on East Coast services despise them but have little choice but to use them. The monopolistic nature of trains means there’s little choice for anyone wanting to ride the rails between North and South, so you usually have to cough up regardless and put up with whatever delays and excuses are meted out.
East Coast have launched a new loyalty scheme it make it all better – or at least, less worse. East Coast Rewards will, like plenty of similar schemes, award points for every pound spent on bookings made through the East Coast website. Passengers will receive 1 point per £1 spent on bookings (subject to a minimum booking of £22) or 1.5 per £1 spent on first class travel; points can also be earned by purchasing season tickets (albeit at half a point less per pound spent).
In return, 500 points can be redeemed for a First Class train ticket for a return journey with East Coast. A standard return from Newcastle to London is £110; every five journeys should mean enough points to receive a sixth first class journey for free. However, there’s some small print attached to it all; the 500 points redemption for a first class ticket is an introductory offer only (there’s nothing to say when this ends) – you’ll normally be expected to redeem 800 points (or 600 points each if there are two of you travelling).
One glimmer of hope – there’s 24 hours of free WiFi in return for 50 points, so at least you’ll be able to stop paying for that miserable service on some journeys. You’ll also receive 100 points for signing up to the scheme, meaning you can save £19.90 on WiFi charges straight away.
People may well have been walking away from Virgin Media (their announcement, not ours) but they are definitely still looking out for you, maaaan.
Well, if you live in London they are. They’re not bothered about you at all if you live anywhere else.
See, Virgin have announced that they’re in the ‘advanced’ stages of negotiations which will see them providing a free wi-fi service for London. Basically, they’ll be giving a 0.5Mbps service to everyone.
Obviously, if you’re a Virgin Media customer, you’ll get the more impressive 10Mbps.
Virgin Media’s CEO reckons that, despite this making them no money, it all ties in nicely to the company’s ‘ethos’ of advancing wireless communication standards for everyone. Everyone in London.
London Mayor, Boris Johnson, will be thrilled no doubt as he’s keen to see London completely wireless by the Olympics, despite not being able to sort it out himself because, obviously, he’s about as effective as a dildo made of teabags.
We’ve long been of the opinion that since East Coast began charging for WiFi on board its trains, the service is no better than when it was was free. East Coast PR claimed they’d performed all sorts of technical wizardry to ensure consistent, high-speed access, whereas is reality it couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.
And of course the pricing makes no sense at all, given that the route stretches from Glasgow to London; £4.95 for an hour or £9.95 for 24 hours – chances are you’ll be paying top whack, then. “But what about 15 minutes of free WiFi, Bitterwallet?” If it worked, that’d be great – but even opening your email is like waiting for a horse to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem.
So here’s some homework for those travelling the route on a regular basis, posted recently in the comments by avid Bitterwallet reader Iain. Let us know how you get on:
If you want to utilise the free East Coast WiFi service for more than 15 minutes then you will have to change your MAC address. The system works out your device based on the network cards MAC address so keep changing that and you will get free net for your journey.
I have been sitting on East Coast WiFi for free for the past hour now and no issues other than the annoyance of having to re-connect every 15 minutes.
If you’re using a Mac then you want to find an app called “ChangeMAC” on CNET download.com and it will sort you right out.
If it isn’t working for you then make sure the MAC address you are trying to set begins with 00:23: otherwise it definitely won’t work on Lion.
If you’re on a PC then google “change mac address windows” and you will find all you need.
Enjoy the free WiFi!