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BT's Wireless City networks hit their target.

BT yesterday said it had hit its target to get the first phase of 12 hightech Wireless City networks up and running across the UK - including the centre of Birmingham.

The new networks offer a range of services for consumers, businesses and local authority workers.

BT had originally set a target to have the first phase working by the end of March - but this has already been achieved. The company has now named five new Wireless City deployments - Sheffield, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Glasgow.

They join Birmingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff and Westminster.

The networks provide wire-free, high-speed broadband coverage which can be used for easy access to information and services in city centre locations.

BT claims the Wireless Cities mean that local authorities, businesses and citizens will be able to benefit from a greatly increased availability of wireless broadband, bringing major benefits.

Not only can customers access all the broadband services normally available at home or in the office, but local authorities can work with BT to develop new mobile services, increase productivity for their own mobile workers and even provide information, such as available parking spaces and cinema listings.

Steve Andrews, BT head of mobility and convergence, said: "We are delighted that we have met our ambitious target early, but this is just the beginning. Other networks are already being built. Many local authorities are keen to pursue the real benefits to the council, businesses and citizens that a large wireless broadband network can bring.

"As more and more devices are enabled for Wi-Fi, including our own BT Fusion mobile service, the benefits to customers become clear.

"A number of local authorities are already showing they can improve productivity for their mobile workers, like environmental health officers, who would be able to take action quickly and efficiently away from the office.

"Across the UK, almost every major city will have a large area covered by BT Openzone wireless broadband access points, which means customers can do anything, anytime, anywhere. And BT is committed to working with local authorities to develop the applications that run over the network, so that councils, businesses and citizens can really benefit from the network and will really use it."

The Wireless Birmingham Wi-Fi network will cover a square mile area of the city centre, including the professional district, the ICC, NIA and Brindleyplace, Broad Street, the Jewellery Quarter, Eastside, Digbeth, and the main retail areas.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 14, 2007
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