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Service is being offered as a way of reducing 3G roaming costs for travelers during the Olympics

O2 rolls out free wi-fi across London

O2 has announced its plans to set up several wi-fi hotspots across London during the 2012 Olympic Games.

Locations include Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Exhibition Road, which will all benefit from the scheme which was set up in cooperation with Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington.

As with other ‘free’ wi-fi services, access will be free to all who wish to use it, even those who are not O2 customers themselves.

The service has been introduced to prevent travellers, who are making their way to London for the Olympic Games, from running up a large 3G roaming bill by offering simple, widespread web coverage.

Users will only need to register for the service once and they will be connected to the service automatically whenever they are in range of any of the available hotspots.

The plans have been praised by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

"With millions of extra people coming to town for the Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit. The addition of free wi-fi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintain that reputation" he commented.

Whilst there has been no mention of when the service will end, it is doubtful that O2 will continue to provide free access to the web after the Paralympic’s have ended.

The news follows on the back of Virgin Media’s roll out of their very own free wi-fi service, which has now been made available within 41 London tube stations and counting.

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