Virgin eyes next generation wireless

Virgin MediaCABLE CONGRESS 2013 – LONDON. Virgin Media’s motivation for offering Wi-Fi on the London Underground is its interest in Next Generation Wireless, according to Kevin Baughan, director, Metro Wireless, Virgin Media Business.

Speaking in a technology session entitled Wi-Fi for All. Hotspots and Beyond, he added that its customers want connectivity all the time and the company wants cable to create a step change in connectivity. In his view, “Wi-Fi is an excellent example of small cell technology.”

Baughan said that a total of 130 stations on the London Underground would eventually be connected, offering continuous coverage from ticket halls down to platforms.

He added that the next step would be to extend Wi-Fi on to trains.

The infrastructure is owned by London Underground and TfL (Transport for London) have use of the service for themselves and their staff, with Virgin Media having the concession.

Commenting on other next generation wireless projects, Baughan said that it has undertaken small cell trials in Newcastle and Bristol. It has also won concessions in Leeds and Bradford, the conditions of which will see both cities offer free WiFi.