Waiting for the train just got a lot less boring thanks to First Great Western’s announcement that they’ll be enhancing 23 of their UK railway stations with free WiFi access. Teaming up with The Cloud, one of Europe’s leading WiFi hotspot providers, they’ll be adding WiFi access to 13 of their stations, including Ealing Broadway, Maidenhead and Oxford, as well as revamping existing connections at 10 further stations, including Bath, Reading and Bristol.
It means that commuters and railway passengers will be able to get online for free at these stations, with a fast WiFi connection allowing them to stream and download as well as check emails and look up the latest travel announcements. The new and improved transport WiFi hotspots can be accessed from any device with WiFi capability, including laptops, tablets, PDAs, smartphones and mobiles.
The Cloud already provide more than 22,000 WiFi access points across 12 European countries, and as consumers continue to expect to be able to get online anywhere, anytime, its network looks set to grow.
Besides providing venues, cafes, hotels and bars with WiFi services for their customers, the company specialises in public WiFi access at hospitals, transport hubs and shopping centres too. It recently announced that it had joined forces with Bristol’s Cabot Circus shopping centre to offer free WiFi access throughout the centre to shoppers on the go.
Public access WiFi is a growing trend, with a JiWire report finding that the number of public WiFi hotspots globally in 2004 was 53,746. By June 2009, that figure had reached 258,853, up by 400%. Today, that number is far higher, with a whopping 1.3 million global WiFi hotspots in 2011; and that figure is expected to grow by a further 350% by 2015 to 5.8 million, according to a recent Wireless Broadband Alliance study.
Businesses increasingly wish to offer WiFi services to their customers, as another way to increase business and enhance customer experience in their stores, cafes, hotels and bars. It’s great news for internet users, who increasingly rely on their internet connections, not just for leisure, but for work too.
Public WiFi connections offer another way to get online when home broadband connections fail, or become sluggish during peak times. And with a growing number of these public WiFi hotspots offering free connections, it’s great news for those looking to get online without having to splash out on costly broadband package fees.
Muhammad Ali is my name and I see myself as a devoted and hard working software engineer striving to keep up to date with the latest inventions and technologies in the IT world. Likeness for writing is one of the reasons that brought me here.I relish and strive on facing challenges and coming out of them with flying colors.