Tech-taxis: is this the future?
With free Virgin WiFi dominating the London Underground during the London Olympics, it appears that internet usage is set to be spreading across the public transport sector – after EE announced the arrival of its 4G to the UK’s taxis.
Ever since smartphone users were treated to the super-fast network in early 2013, the increasing demand for on-the-go data has helped EE establish itself as a firm player in the internet arena. Not only is it super-fast, it’s also a super-clever move by the company, as both taxi drivers and its customers can enjoy better accessibility to the internet – creating a win-win situation all around.
From smartphones to smart taxis
This month will see 40 London taxis and 10 Birmingham taxis become 4G-equipped as part of a three month trial, each kitted out with a MiFi wireless router acting as a 4G hotspot. The timing of this will be a positive for both EE and taxis in the run up to the busy summer period, where if all goes to plan, 4G could be rolled out nationwide in time for the peak holiday season. Participating taxis will be made over in the trademark EE colour of aquamarine, and in order to take advantage of the service passengers simply have to send a text where they’ll receive a code that will allow them to start surfing online.
It’s already received a positive response, with many customers excited about being able to access free internet on the move in two of the UK’s most bustling cities. Another incentive is the fact that this service is not just limited to 4G customers but to anyone with a 4G-enabled smartphone; unlike the initial launch at the start of the year.
Here today, gone…never?
Whilst the WiFi introduced on the London Tube during the Olympics was well-received, when its free run expired at the end of January 2013 to become a paid system, there was some worry that the number of users would decline. However, the appetite for mobile internet appears to be growing around the world, and should this scheme take off, then it’s inevitable that more taxis = more taxi insurance.
Yet while it’s unknown just how much it will cost to furnish each of these smart taxis, it’s best to look out for cheap taxi insurance just in case. Hopefully this trial will result in a permanent campaign – and people all over the UK will get the chance to enjoy superfast broadband courtesy of the country’s fleet of taxis.