Virgin Media has won the contract to provide Wi-Fi in more than 80 tube stations from July.
The MVNO will provide the service on a free and unlimited basis until the end of the Paralympic Games in September. It will then offer the service on a pay-as-you-go basis and also to Virgin Media subscribers. However, Virgin Media will provide access to a free online travel information portal to all smartphone users. It said by the end of the year up to 120 stations will be connected.
The operator said it had invested a 'significant' amount into setting up the network but it would not affect its capital expenditure plans for the year.
Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said: 'With the eyes of the world on London this summer, we’ll be showing off our capital as a leading connected city on the global stage. We’re putting the power of Virgin Media’s fibre optic network in the hands of millions of Londoners, commuters and visitors and are delighted to be launching Wi-Fi for free throughout summer 2012 and beyond. We’ll help people make the most of the city and will continue to evolve the service, ensuring everyone can benefit from a service London will be proud of.'
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'It's vital that we harness the massive opportunities stemming from the digital revolution, by creating a vibrant, world class industry to attract investment and create jobs for Londoners. Millions of passengers will now be able to connect to their work, friends or access the latest news and travel information whilst on the move. This is a fabulous new and free resource which will be in place from this summer when London is being showcased on a global stage and playing host to millions.'
Editor: Graeme Neill