Thanks to the Cloud Networks, the City of London is now home to a new Wi-Fi network that uses mesh technology to provide continuous connectivity to more than 350,000 users located in the 2.6-square kilometre city borough, in addition to the thousands of people visiting the area each day. BelAir Networks supplied the mesh technology, used to connect the more than 127 Wi-Fi base stations in the financial district. Each Wi-Fi node forwards data to the next nearest node, a required feature for users moving inside the service area.
London's wireless network, which can also support public services such as traffic management and security systems, is part of The Cloud's nationwide Wi-Fi service available for Â£12 ($17.70) per month for unlimited access with a 12-month contract. The first month is free. Service is also available for Â£4.50 per hour; customers of rival wireless network operators can roam on the The Cloud network and be billed through their service provider. Nokia, which is subsidizing the first month of free usage, is collaborating with The Cloud to promote the use of new Wi-Fi enabled devices.
The Cloud, which has Wi-Fi coverage in more than 8,500 locations across Europe, plans to extend the infrastructure across the greater London area. The operator also intends to roll out meshed wireless Wi-Fi networks in other large U.K. cities and "is looking at opportunities" in other markets in which it already has hotspots, including Germany and Sweden, a spokesman for the company said.