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London cabs to offer free Wi-Fi in 2013
England's capital takes one more step towards the perma-connected society
London taxis are already the best in the world, and soon they'll also be the most connected.
From March 2013, passengers in the city's iconic Hackney Carriages will have access to a free high-speed Wi-Fi service called CabWifi, as reported by The Next Web.
The initiative, launched by Eyetease Limited, will be one of the first to offer in-cab Wi-Fi.
"London is the first of several major cities we are launching CabWiFi," said Richard Corbett, founder and CEO of Eyetease.
"Our ultimate goal is to make CabWiFi a standard service in all London black cabs," he added.
The model offers “ads for access” -- for every 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi access, passengers must first sit through a 15-second advert. Seems like a reasonable demand.
“This is really great news for London. With dwell times averaging 15 minutes in the back of a taxi, what better way to pass the time than to use your laptop, tablet, book reader or phone with guilt free internet access,” Corbett said in a company press release.
Close to 1,000 of London's 24,000 Black Cabs have signed up so far. "We have been amazed by the sheer volume of interest," Corbett said.
Tourists and travelers keen to avoid data-roaming charges will be able to access the Internet without worrying about a huge phone bill awaiting them on their return home.
The taxi drivers will also benefit, according to Eyetease.
Eyetease said that CabWiFi will enable them to “offset the high cost of data charges incurred from using taxi apps, which some drivers claim have doubled their phone bills in recent months.”
London buses are also becoming more high-tech with the introduction of a contactless payment system this week. No need to panic if you are out of coins.
Passengers can pay for their journey quickly and easily with their credit, debit or charge card.