Right now, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom’s EE joint venture is the only 4G-toting carrier in the United Kingdom. That will change soon enough though, as the much-delayed 4G spectrum auction is now done and dusted, so EE is doing all it can to capitalize on its early start.
The operator’s latest marketing tactic involves one of London’s greatest icons: the Hackney carriage, or “black cab” as most people call it. EE has put a 4G MiFi router into 50 of the vehicles in London and Birmingham (40 in the former, 10 in the latter), and passengers will be able to use the service for free.
Displaying a true marketing professional’s grasp of physics, EE brand chief Spencer McHugh claimed in a statement that users will be able to “browse, download, catch up on emails, Tweet and check Facebook literally at the speed of light”.
EE’s three-month promotion is not the first to combine the black cab with wireless connectivity. Back in December, ad firm Eyetease said it had gained approval from London’s transport authorities to put hotspots into the vehicles, with users needing to watch a 15-second ad in order to get 15 minutes of free surfing. The ISP Virgin Media also gains a great deal of exposure by providing Wi-Fi for commuters in certain London Underground stations.