A promotional deal with EE has seen 40 black cabs in London and 10 in Birmingham turned into mobile WiFi hotspots. Each taxi has been given its own 4G data connection via a MiFi wireless router.
The promotional 4GEE campaign will run for three months and is available from any of the 50 EE-branded vehicles. Customers need to send a text message to receive a personalised code that lets them connect via WiFi.
Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, said “The first motorised black cabs hit the streets in 1901, nearly 70 years before the first smartphone was available to consumers, now we are bringing this icon of British transport into the 21st century with a 4G make-over. We hope this trial will demonstrate the benefits of a superior online experience as users can browse, download, catch up on emails, Tweet and check Facebook literally at the speed of light. We can’t make taxi journeys any faster but we can certainly speed up people’s smartphones!”
Apparently 200,000 black cab journeys are taken in London every day. Recent research from EE reports that 20% of commuters said an internet connection in their taxi would make their day less stressful.
Last year London minicab firm greentomatocars installed free WiFi in all its vehicles, while media business Eyetease received approval to install an ad-supported WiFi service in London cabs.