The free Wi-Fi service already has over 215,000 subscribers across 13 cities in the UK and the latest launch in Leicester gives advertisers access to a whole new Midlands audience. Home to two universities and a vibrant arts scene, this new digital out-of-home product in the heart of the city will help cement Leicester as one of the UK’s most digitally connected cities.
The first eight InLinks being installed in central Leicester provide ultrafast wi-fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), the fastest free public wi-fi service available in the UK.
Leicester joins London, Southampton, Leeds, Glasgow, Swansea, Sheffield, Manchester and Birmingham as the latest city to benefit from the new service.
The first of the fully-accessible InLinks have already gone live on Horsefair Street and London Road. Further locations, including Granby Street and Gallowtree Gate are expected to join them in the coming weeks. InLinks mean more space on pavements, as on average, each InLink replaces two BT payphones, with 42 set to be removed in Leicester.
Leicester City Council and the local community are also benefiting from the digital displays on the InLinks that display real-time information, including the weather forecast and other local information. Each InLink provides more than 1,000 hours of local messaging a year, acting as a community notice board for the local area. These services are provided to the community at no public cost, as the project is funded by advertising revenue.
Matt Bird, general manager for InLinkUK, added: “Our network is currently in a period of rapid growth and we’re excited that Leicester has joined us on this journey to creating smart communities, supporting their digital innovation ambitions. With Leicester being such a core hub for workers, tourists and residents alike, the range of free digital services provided by the InLinks is a great asset.”
Lord Mayor of Leicester, Cllr Ross Grant, welcomed the news. “I am pleased that Leicester is only the second city in the Midlands to welcome the InLinks. We have always been a city with an eye for opportunity and believe the range of free services the InLinks provide is a significant contribution to Leicester’s digital strategy. As a city, we plan to continue to encourage and support digital innovation which strengthens businesses and investment.”
The UK rollout has so far seen more than 530 InLink screens installed across the UK. Since the first InLink was installed in June last year, more than 215,000 people have subscribed to the service’s free wi-fi, using enough data to download the equivalent of over 24 million songs. The InLinks have also saved people more than £980,000 in free calls, with 50,000 calls being made on average every week across the UK.