The free-hotspot.com group and wi-fi network infrastructure company MeshHopper have together launched a free wi-fi network in London.
The network, called “online-4-free.com”, will provide free wi-fi access to both businesses and the public along a 22km stretch of the River Thames from Millbank to Greenwich. It will be extended to 36km by August.
MeshHopper also provides a paid-for Thames Online wi-fi network along the same stretch of river.
The free network is sponsored by advertising - users have to view a 15 to 30 second advert every 15 minutes. An advert-free service is also available for around £2.95 per hour or £9.95 per month.
According to MeshHopper the network will be available in the bars, restaurants and hotels that line the river, competing against paid-for wi-fi from major providers such as BT and T-Mobile.
The free service is significantly slower than MeshHopper’s paid-for wi-fi network, which was launched last year. While the free service provides download speeds of 256Kbps, the paid for service is twice as fast at 500Kbps.
Details of the service are available at Online-4-free.com.