4G free in taxis courtesy of EE from today

EE is offering taxi passengers in London and Birmingham the chance to experience the UK’s only 4G network via Wi-Fi for free.

EE is today offering passengers in London and Birmingham cabs the chance to experience the UK's only 4G network . It's free in taxis for the next three months -- by which time you might be able to sign up to a much cheaper 4G network .

A superfast Wi-Fi network is perhaps the last thing you'd expect to find in a London cab, yet EE has fitted 40 cabs in London and 10 in Birmingham with MiFi routers you can connect to free of charge. The service will offer anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device to experience the speed of 4G, without the staggering expense.

EE has the first 4G -- or LTE, as it's sometimes called -- network in the UK because it was allowed to use a specific part of the radio spectrum ahead of all the other companies bidding in the recent 4G auction . It's used this headstart not to build goodwill and a huge customer base, but to charge an extortionate amount of money for data .

Other networks will open their 4G networks later this year, and price is certain to be the main difference between them. Three has already promised 4G won't cost any extra .

EE's Spencer McHugh, announcing the three-month project, said: "The first motorised black cabs hit the streets in 1901, nearly 70 years before the first smart phone was available to consumers, now we are bringing this icon of British transport into the 21st century with a 4G makeover."

Despite McHugh suggesting the trial will "demonstrate the benefits of a superior online experience", it remains to be seen whether such a service will become a permanent fixture in London cabs after the trial ends.

From the start of the London 2012 Olympics until the end of January this year, Virgin Media offered a similar service, giving free Wi-Fi access to over 100 tube stations . As expected, the service is now only available to registered customers of Virgin, EE and Vodafone for free, with customers of other providers having to pay a fee.

Will you be looking out for a 4G cab in London or Birmingham? Are you already an EE 4G user? Let us know in the comments here, or indeed over at our Facebook page.

Additional reporting by Ben Buffone.

 

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