EE, the UK's first 4G LTE carrier, has announced plans to outfit some of the UK's black cabs with 4G LTE-enabled MiFi routers. The move will allow patrons of the taxis to try out EE's 4G speeds while they travel around London and Birmingham. A total of 50 cabs will make up EE's 'high tech fleet' and they will be painted turquoise blue.
"The first motorised black cabs hit the streets in 1901, nearly 70 years before the first smartphone was available to consumers, now we are bringing this icon of British transport into the 21st century with a 4G make-over," said Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand, EE.
"We hope this trial will demonstrate the benefits of a superior online experience as users can browse, download, catch up on emails, Tweet and check Facebook literally at the speed of light. We can’t make taxi journeys any faster but we can certainly speed up people’s smartphones!"
These roving hotspots will be in action for three months, with a total of 40 cabs in London and a further 10 in Birmingham. Obviously, EE is hoping to snag some new customers by impressing them with its superfast 4G network but we imagine even those that are happy with their provider will be glad of the free WiFi while they travel.
EE rolled out its 4G LTE network in October of 2012 after receiving the go ahead from Ofcom to repurpose some of its existing 3G spectrum. The carrier remains the nation's only 4G LTE provider, however, that is expected to change once other carriers start rolling out their own LTE service. Three, for example, plans to have its own 4G up and running by the end of the year.