The first of BT’s new network of free Wi-Fi and calls kiosks have been switched on today in London’s Camden High Street.
Supported by advertising, the “sleek, ultramodern kiosks” – dubbed ‘InLinks’ – will be able to offer free ultrafast Wi-Fi, with speeds of up to 1Gbps, to “hundreds” of simultaneous users.
Other services include mobile device charging and access to maps, directions and local services including tube service updates and community messaging.
All of the services will be provided no cost to users or taxpayers.
The InLinks will also feature sensors capable of capture real-time data relating to the local environment, including for example, air and noise pollution, outdoor temperature and traffic conditions.
The network is a partnership between BT, Intersection, and outdoor advertising company Primesight.
BT says the kiosk design takes up less space than a traditional payphone and will be installed in smaller numbers than the existing payphones they replace, freeing up space on pavements.
Gerry McQuade, CEO, BT Wholesale & Ventures, said: “This is the phone box of the future. InLinkUK from BT brings the payphone up-to-date and gives people the services they need and use every day in the 21st century – and the bonus is it’s all for free.
“But as well as the free services – ultrafast Wi-Fi, phone calls, rapid mobile charging and local information – councils and community organisations will be able to use the screens to provide up-to-the minute news and information to local residents.
“And just as the phone box has evolved, the new InLinks could evolve to use the internet of things, with connected sensors to monitor and help us understand and improve our environment.”