In an interesting and great announcement, Virgin Mobile has begun making plans for a free wifi network in the United Kingdom for their users. The program will be accessible through an app that uses nearby mobile users’ devices as a sort of external router, acting as this community antenna that works together to get data to people’s smartphone devices in a much more efficient manner.
It is optional, however, if you do not wish to be apart of this collective router on the streets of London or Portsmouth or wherever, but if you opt out, then you don’t get to participate in the whole “free wifi” thing. As Rik Henderson of Pocket-Lint explains, “Customers who don’t want their routers to be used externally as part of the program can opt out of the scheme in their profile settings on their account webpages. However, by doing so, they will not be able to access free Wi-Fi from other users’ kit when out and about.” Therefore, there are no moochers in a world of free wifi. This is great because that means every Virgin Mobile user who wishes to have free wifi must help other users gain their free wifi as well. It really is a group effort, overall.
Users that are worried this new service could slow down their own particular connection (since the data is collectively found throughout the community) shouldn’t worry. Henderson reminds readers, “They are also being told that the connections from strangers will not impact their own connection. ‘We’ll switch on a separate internet connection to your Super Hub,” the email reads. “Don’t worry, the broadband you love and pay for will stay exclusively yours – and remain just as secure.’” The new service is slated for release as early as this autumn, just in time for the holiday season.
The idea of the new service is that it keeps you going, even whenever you’re on the go. You’ve probably experienced time and time again getting poor connection with your mobile device just when you need it. The free public wifi opportunity will greatly impact the situation, providing you and users like you with the opportunity to quickly connect to the information and network they need. It’s great news that a company so large is willing to work with its customers and provide such a high-valued service for free. It’ll be interesting to see what users think after having the chance of giving it a chance on the streets.