London

New London phone boxes to offer free calls and Wi-Fi

Mock up of a new phone box Image copyright PA
Image caption The new phone boxes will be installed over the next year

New phone boxes offering free calls and ultrafast Wi-Fi are to be introduced on the streets of central London.

The Link kiosks will provide Wi-Fi with speeds of up to 1Gbps to nearby users, free UK landline and mobile calls and phone charging points.

BT said "at least 750" will appear across the capital over the next year, as well as being introduced in other cities.

The service will be funded through advertising on the devices.

A touch-screen tablet on the kiosks will give access to maps, directions and local services while sensors will capture real-time data of the local environment such as pollution levels and air temperature.

Image copyright PA
Image caption BT said it was making the phone box relevant to the 21st century

BT chief executive for wholesale and ventures Gerry McQuade said the company was "evolving the phone box to make it relevant in the 21st century".

"London is one of the greatest cities in the world and it's entirely fitting that it becomes the first UK city to benefit from the Links," he said.

Rajesh Agrawal, London's deputy mayor for business, said the kiosks would "play a big part in improving connectivity for Londoners and visitors to our city".

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