It’s a megatrend in the making: Advertising, free Wi-Fi, and big cities. It’s all coming together not only in New York City’s flagship LinkNYC project but now also in the heart of Europe.
Just in time for European Championship Football and – later this summer – the Tour de France, Paris now has it’s own ad-funded, high-speed, & free Wi-Fi service. The project was commissioned by the Champs-Elysées Committee, and it uses Wi-Fi access points at JCDecaux’s outdoor advertising columns combined with Wi-Fi at local businesses to build Wi-Fi coverage along the famous Parisian avenue. Read the JCDecaux press release here.
The 58 ad-column access points are delivered by Ruckus Wireless and the project is managed & deployed by Wi-Fi service provider Hub One, a company owned by Aéroports de Paris, Paris’ airport company. The network is designed to deliver 30-120 Mbps to up to 35,000 concurrent users, JCDecaux said in a French-language news report.
More than 30 million tourists visit the Champs-Elysées every year.
And the project is ambitious, to say the least. JCDecaux says that ‘this technology will pave the way for the development of new experiences such as making smooth video calls to family or friends across the world, browsing the web, making hotel reservations or checking in for a flight.’
And while Europe is on the brink of doing away data roaming fees on mobile, the same does not apply to the millions of visitors from Asia, the US, and elsewhere. It is also rumoured that JCDecaux intends to monetize the service by collecting customer data for targeted ad campaigns, for example towards Japanese visitors.