O2 has announced a new scheme that will automatically connect its mobile customers to free Wi-Fi networks.
It’s called O2 Wifi Extra, and it’s an evolution of O2’s existing free Wi-Fi service.
Currently, O2 customers can tap into dedicated hotspots across the UK, including inside McDonalds, Costa Coffee, Debenhams and various locations in London.
The new scheme, however, will mean that O2 customers will no longer need to manually sign into one of these hotspots.
Instead, compatible mobile devices will automatically connect, authenticating the service using the SIM card.
Interestingly, O2 Wifi Extra will occasionally abstain from logging you onto a Wi-Fi connection if it registers that your 3G or 4G connection is stronger.
This means you won’t be forced onto a rubbish Wi-Fi connection if you’re already getting nippy speeds courtesy of your cellular network.
Robert Franks, Managing Director of O2’s digital commerce business, said: “We are always looking for ways to help O2 customers stay connected, and delivering O2 Wifi Extra’s capabilities on such a large scale for our customers is a first for a UK public Wi-Fi provider.”
“It’s a great step forward for our customers. They’ll get the best data service available to them as well as being able to stay safe and secure online, wherever they may be.”
There are currently some 11,000 O2-friendly Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, all of which will work with the scheme.
O2 has also assured customers that the service is monitored and secure, and that all data transferred will be fully encrypted.