O2 offers customers automatic WiFi connectivity

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WiFi Extra will automatically connect operator’s customers to WiFi access points with no authentication required

O2 has launched an enhanced WiFi service which will offer automatic access for its customers at a number of its WiFi access points across the UK.

O2 WiFi Extra, which will allow the operator’s 24.5 million customers to connect to WiFi with no sign-up required, will be available within the next eight weeks.

O2 has 11,000 WiFi access points but has not confirmed how many of the sites will be upgraded to the new connectivity. Customers will also need a compatible handset running its latest software.

The operator claims the service will “save” customers’ mobile data allowance by choosing to connect to the WiFi network if it is stronger than their 3G and 4G signal.

O2 WiFi, which required customers to authenticate themselves, launched in 2011 and the operator has partnered with retailers including McDonald’s, Debenhams, Costa Coffee, and Bluewater to offer access to their networks.

The telco says that it will run with the latest security software meaning that any data sent over it will be fully encrypted.

“Delivering O2 Wifi Extra’s capabilities on such a large scale for our customers is a first for a UK public wifi provider,” said O2 digital commerce managing director Robert Franks.

“It’s a great step forward for our customers. They’ll get the best data service available to them as well as being able to stay safe and secure online, wherever they may be.”

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