London Black Cabs to become free High-Speed Wi-Fi hotspots next year
Earlier this morning we reported that, the London underground was getting 20 new Wi-Fi hotspot stations. Now we have learned that starting early next year London’s black cabs will be getting free high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots inside.
A company called Eyetease will place the hotspots inside city cabs. Eyetease received approval from Transport for London to rollout the high-speed service over the course of next year. The plan to put hotspots inside the cabs, dubbed CabWifi, has been in the works for nearly 2 years.
The hotspots will use an ads for access model requiring passengers to sit through a 15-second advertisement for every 15 minutes they spend using the free Wi-Fi access. According to Eyetease, the average taxi passenger spends about 15 minutes in the cab. That means they should see at least one advertisement.
The service also provides the cab driver a separate login that allows them to use the hotspot at no cost to offset any data fees that the driver might have to pay for using apps or other web-based information during their day. The hardware inside the cab will automatically change between 3G and 4G networks depending on availability.
Eyetease says it has already engaged “several major consumer brands,” which includes a major credit card company and a leading mobile phone maker to sponsor the CabWifi service when it launches in “early 2013.”
The UK startup is also looking to win a bid to roll out a new rooftop advertising service called iTaxitop, which allows brands and other companies to launch ads, news and public information that will be broadcast on double-sided screens on taxis across London.