First free personal, location-based wi-fi service launches in London
London residents and visitors can now navigate the city using the first personal, location-based Wi-Fi-enabled information service.
Called BT MyPlace (www.btmyplace.com), the free “pocket concierge” is available from any wireless device using the BT Openzone outdoor Wi-Fi network in central London and the West End.
After registering preferences such as favourite food, shops or activities, users are sent nearby recommendations based on these favourites and their location.
Bringing together content from sites normally requiring a subscription, the service is funded through on-site advertising at no cost to the 256,000 residents, 800,000 daily commuters, 23 million tourists and over six million business people who visit the city each year. Content partners include Time Out, Love Theatre, Kodak, LondonPass and audible.com. Westminster City Council information and transport detail is also available.
BT MyPlace launches as a free, six month trial on 3 February, and was designed and driven by BT. Converged digital media solutions company io global limited is developing and maintaining the service, and the service is supported by Westminster City Council and partners Intel and Cisco. BT MyPlace is free but customers wanting to use the wider internet over the BT outdoor Wi-Fi network will pay as usual.
Leader of Westminster Council, Cllr Colin Barrow, said: “Westminster City Council is committed to supporting residents and businesses in central London and this is an example of how new technology can help during the difficult economic climate. This service will not only help people find their way around our city but also direct them towards local businesses that they otherwise would not have known about. We are taking some important steps towards becoming the best managed city in the world in time for 2012 and this joint project with BT is further evidence to support this goal.”
Chris Bruce, general manager, BT Openzone said: “Unlike a classic city guide, BT MyPlace is personalised to your interests and location. Because it is delivered over the BT Openzone outdoor Wi-Fi network it also offers a faster and more reliable internet service that can be accessed on thousands of devices.”
Peter Gandy, vice president Broadband Services, io global, said: “There has long been talk about personalised location-based services, but nothing has actually been available until now. BT MyPlace is a great example of how our technology can help people quickly find what they want using the device of their choice. “
Delyth Harris, head of Access and Mobility Solutions, Cisco Europe, said: “Cisco’s Wireless Network solution supports the service delivering cost-effective, secure outdoor wireless connectivity. It integrates smoothly with the existing wired network and lets Westminster extend services and applications without sacrificing security or manageability. Able to detect the location of the user, the technology allows BT My Place to provide context aware communications and service delivery to residents, business commuters, and visitors.”
For further information on io global’s range of services, visit www.io-me.com. For further information about BT Openzone, see www.btopenzone.com.
Notes to editors:
BT customers can choose to connect at over 120,000 UK & Ireland locations including airports, hotels, transport hubs, coffee shops, marinas, residential hotspots and extensive coverage across 12 major city centres.
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