Free wi-fi network coming to all of UK

Those lucky Brits, they get to have all the fun, or at least they will after 2013 when UK mobile provider O2 doubles the size of its existing network and in the process turning on free wi-fi access for everyone, not just their own customers.

According to the report by BBC the initial hot spots will be available in 450 of the O2 owned sites but will be increased by expanding to other locations, locations that will include shops and restaurants.

O2 said access to the hotspots would be through a simple sign-up process and would be free to both O2 and non-O2 customers.

For Jeremy Green, a principal analyst with Ovum, the move is a “step in the right direction” to sorting out O2’s capacity issues, brought about by high iPhone ownership and the increasing desire for data on the move.

“450 sites is not fantastic coverage and wi-fi isn’t something that smartphone users will be able to rely on but it is a gesture in the right direction,” he said.

He said it was “surprising” that O2 was prepared to offer it free to non-customers, something the firm is hoping to fund via advertising.

Could you ever imagine anything like this happening in the US or Canada? Not likely.