Six cities to go wireless

BT has announced agreements with six cities to become wireless pioneers as part of its plans to create a first phase of 12 Wireless Cities across the UK. The agreement will give people in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff and Westminster will have access to wireless broadband.

BT started the Wireless City rollout in Cardiff, where BT Openzone hotspots have been installed in many locations in the city centre. In Westminster, a dedicated high-bandwidth wireless network is already in place and is now being extended. Residents in Westminster, where the project is now moving on to its second phase, are said to feel safer because the council was able to expand the public safety network.

The wireless cities network will bring together technologies and applications for use by public services, businesses and the general public. Intel has been working with BT to develop the technology, and is sharing its expertise of developing these services in cities like Philadelphia.

BT’s strategy is to work with Intel, other leading partners in wireless solutions and local authorities to roll out wireless broadband coverage in metropolitan areas. This will be based around wireless broadband in the home, BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots, Wireless Cities, and high-speed mobile access.

Leisure and business applications, many developed by councils with BT and partners, will be available to a wide range of devices, including the forthcoming Wi-Fi version of BT Fusion and a similar product currently being developed for corporate customers. These handsets will use the wireless broadband network to make calls over broadband at landline rates and use multimedia, such as video calling and access to Internet applications and services.