LinkUK to Launch Across London Next Year

LinkUK to Launch Across London Next Year

More Than 750 LinkUK Kiosks Will Be Installed in Central London and Major Cities Across the UK

UNITED KINGDOMBritish Telecom (BT) will begin rolling out a range of free digital services next year called LinkUK from BT. LinkUK will enable people to access free ultrafast Wi-Fi on the move, with speeds of up to 1Gbps, the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available. In addition, other free premium services will include UK landline and mobile phone calls, mobile device charging and access to area maps, directions and local services. These services will come at no cost to users or taxpayers as they will be funded by revenues from advertising on the Links’ digital displays. As part of the agreement with BT, Primesight will also sell advertising on nearly 17,500 BT payphone kiosks across the UK.

Up to 100 Links are expected to be installed in the London Borough of Camden, with the first ones due to appear in 2017. At least 750 Links will be installed across central London and in major cities across the UK over the next few years. London is second only to New York in welcoming Links to its streets, which were first installed in January this year as part of LinkNYC. LinkUK is a partnership between BT, Intersection, the urban innovation company behind LinkNYC, and Primesight, a leading UK outdoor advertising company.

“I welcome this exciting new addition to London’s streets. Expanding London’s digital infrastructure is a priority for the Mayor, and LinkUK can play a big part in improving connectivity for Londoners and visitors to our city, while reducing street clutter by upgrading and reducing the number of phone boxes. I look forward to working with BT, Intersection and Primesight to see how we can roll LinkUK across the capital, and to explore its future potential,” said Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business. “London is already widely regarded as one of the technological capitals of the world but the Mayor is determined to improve connectivity across the city to ensure we maintain that position.”

The rollout also marks the next evolution of BT’s public payphone service as hundreds of BT’s existing phone boxes across the capital will be replaced by the new Links. As well as providing a far greater range of services to the public for free, the Links will bring digital innovation to the streets of London, while helping to reduce the amount of clutter on the street. This is because they take up less space on the pavement and will be installed in smaller numbers than the existing payphones they replace.
LinkUK to Launch Across London Next Year

“We’re evolving the phone box to make it relevant in the 21st century by offering people ultrafast Wi-Fi and a range of digital and information services entirely for free. London is one of the greatest cities in the world and it’s entirely fitting that it becomes the first UK city to benefit from the Links. But we will be rolling out many more Links to the other great cities across the UK over the coming months as we look to transform the look and functionality of our public payphones,” said Gerry McQuade, CEO, BT Wholesale and Ventures.

The new Links will also feature sensors, which can capture real-time data relating to the local environment, including for example, air and noise pollution, outdoor temperature and traffic conditions. This could potentially introduce an exciting new range of smart services to local councils and communities based on the Internet of Things.

“As a global hub for media and technology, London is the ideal city for Intersection to invest in the expansion of connectivity, digital innovation and our business. LinkUK from BT will bring tremendous benefits to Londoners, visitors, local businesses, and international brands and we look forward to working with our partners, BT and Primesight, to transform this great city’s streetscape,” said Dan Doctoroff, Chairman & CEO at Intersection.

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