Virgin Media Business has won its bid to provide a free public WiFi service to Bradford and Leeds city centres. The service will be operated on behalf of Virgin Media Business by Global Reach Technology and will launch in Leeds’ Briggate and Bradford’s Bridge Street later this month. Millennium Square in Leeds and City Park in Bradford will be added in early 2013.
Small Cell technology will be used for the service, which will deliver coverage from devices fitted to lampposts and other street furniture. The same small cells can be used by mobile networks for 3G and 4G networks, offering Virgin Media Business the opportunity of selling ‘space’ to mobile network operators. Bradford and Leeds councils are not paying for the service.
Kevin Baughan, Director of Wireless for Virgin Media Business, said “Small cells can transform the mobile experience by providing the connectivity needed to match the explosive broadband demand from the rapidly growing number of smartphones and tablets. In Leeds and Bradford, we’re working with both the local authorities and mobile operators to put in place the infrastructure that will give residents, consumers and businesses access to the wireless connectivity that they need. These projects in Leeds and Bradford are an important step towards making the vision of super-connected cities a reality and enabling future prosperity and innovation.”