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Virgin Media plans Wi-Fi network for smart phone users

Virgin Media is planning its own Wi-Fi network for smart phone owners using the Web on the go.

Virgin Media is planning its own Wi-Fi network. The supplier of the UK's fastest cable broadband network is exploring the possibility of installing wireless access points across the country.

The Telegraph reports the Virgin Media Wi-Fi network would consist of routers wired into green kerbside cabinets, offering 5Mbps speed. The idea is to plug gaps in 3G coverage with Wi-Fi hotspots. The Apple iPhone and other smart phones are being singled out as placing a strain on existing 3G networks.

Virgin will probably make the service free to customers of V-flavoured broadband and mobile phoneage, with the rest of us accessing Vir-Fi on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis, like with existing Wi-Fi services such as BT Openzone and The Cloud.

Virgin media is in the process of launching its super-duper-fast 100Mbps broadband service across the south east and Yorkshire before the end of the year. BT Infinity is set to upgrade its network to 40Mbps, but not until 2012 in most areas.

As much as we love lightning-fast Web browsing even when we're out and about, we should spare a thought for the poor trees. As if pollution isn't bad enough, Wi-Fi kills trees, according to a recent survey from the Netherlands.