UK technolgy News
Say hi to free wfi in NYC
The recent introduction of free wifi on the New York City subway network has been given the thumbs up by local commuters, ensuring the latest technological advancement is a positive move for allowing people to use cellphones even when underground.
The new service is part of a $200 million plan to connect the subway to the outside world, spearheaded by tech giant Transit Wireless. There are plans to provide cellphone and data connectivity services to all 277 underground stations in New York by 2017.
The service is financially backed by Google Offers and is available on train platforms at five stations, all in the Chelsea neighbourhood. Free wifi is available to customers of T-Mobile and AT&T, and there is talk of telecom giants like Verizon and Sprint signing up.
It’s a bold move by the city to implement this feature, as although it comes with huge public demand some commuters believe it’s a good thing to be free of mobile phone distraction when travelling. Others encourage the move.
“It helps if you are in an emergency and you need to communicate with somebody and you don’t have email or anything else functioning, I think it can be very useful,” said commuter Melissa Cardona-Bodhert.
Of course, it boils down to more than public convenience at the end of the day, there’s big bucks to be earned through advertising; sponsoring Wi-Fi provides companies with the chance to relay branding messages to more than 1.6 billion riders every year.
“We definitely think we will be able to have continued sponsorship because this represents a really unique way for advertisers to really reach consumers,” assured Dawn Callahan, Boingo’s vice president of consumer marketing, who is looking forward to a potential working relationship with Transit Wireless.
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