BT is to roll out what it says is the fastest free public Wi-Fi available in the Southwark borough of London later this year.
Working in partnership with Intersection and Primesight, BT will create kiosks known as Links that offer ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The LinkUK service will also offer other premium services for free, including UK landline and mobile phone calls, a touchscreen tablet for accessing maps, directions and local services and two USB charging ports for mobile devices.
Furthermore, they will feature sensors capable of capturing real-time data relating to the local environment, such as information on traffic conditions, air pollution and outdoor temperatures.
Southwark has been selected as one of the first parts of London to be equipped with LinkUK kiosks as it is a core borough for the city's business community, as well as home to iconic and popular tourist attractions such as the Tate Modern and The Shard.
The Links will not carry any cost for users or taxpayers, as they will be funded by advertising revenues from kiosks' digital displays.
More than 100 Links will be installed in Southwark, in what will be the first phase of a wider rollout of at least 750 kiosks being deployed across central London and other major cities over the next few years. Nick Hale, Managing Director of BT Wholesale and Ventures, commented: "This is the phone box of the future.
"We’re evolving the phone box to make it relevant to people in the 21st century by offering them ultrafast Wi-Fi, free phone calls, rapid mobile charging, a range of digital and information services and all for free."
He stated that Southwark is at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities. This, he said, means it is "entirely fitting" that it will be one of the first parts of the UK to benefit from the new Links.
Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, added that the move supports its ambition to become a digital council and will "undoubtedly benefit residents, visitors and businesses alike".