O2 Wifi today confirms it has signed-up 10 million customers, less than three years since launching its first hotspot, making it the UK’s fastest growing wifi operator*.
The rate of growth has driven nearly 500,000 new registrations per month in 2013, or one every six seconds. This highlights the increasing importance of wifi among consumers and wider uptake of digital services as a result.
O2 has disrupted the public wifi landscape and established partnerships with leading retailers nationwide including McDonald’s, Debenhams and Costa Coffee. The service has also been installed in major landmark locations and outdoor districts such as The O2, Bluewater, the Central London boroughs of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, and Canary Wharf. It now offers premium hotspots in 10,000 locations across the UK.
The success of O2 Wifi’s accelerated growth is down, in part, to its “free for everyone” user model which delivers the same experience for all users, regardless of either their broadband or mobile network. O2 Wifi has a broad user base and around half of registrations do not have an O2 mobile contract. 25% of registered devices are not SIM-based, giving the operator a better understanding of how mobile digital consumers engage with wifi services.
Free from data charges, wifi users are voracious consumers of digital services. Wifi users who have an O2 mobile device are up to ten times more likely to take O2 digital services like O2 Tracks or TU Go and five times more likely to engage with offers and digital loyalty programmes, like Priority Moments.
An engaged digital community is extremely attractive to venue partners and retailers as it allows them to better understand their customers and form insights on how they can better connect with them in store. It enables retailers to adopt an omni-channel approach, connecting the digital and physical experiences in store for the consumer.
Venues can integrate digital services such as wifi to allow users to pay for products, contact services channels or even request help from staff. Wifi can also underpin the ability to directly communicate with users through digital channels including SMS or mobile Apps, for example welcoming consumers in store, sharing venue information, promoting offers or asking for customer feedback.
Gavin Franks, MD for Commerce at O2 commented:
“When we started our wifi business in 2011, we set ambitious goals. We promised to change the wifi industry and have the biggest user base in the industry. Signing up 10 million customers is a significant landmark milestone for us and shows the scale we’ve achieved since launching in 2011, less than three years ago.
“Now we’re on a mission to work closer with venues to help them connect deeper with users. We want to help our portfolio of partners bring their brands to life for customers. From promotion with our partner Weve, to compelling retail offers through Priority, mobile payment capabilities such as Charge to Mobile and broader data analytics from Smart Steps, it’s about making customers lives better through our digital services.”
O2 Wifi is free for everyone, regardless of network or broadband provider and once registered, customers can automatically connect each time they enter a coverage area.
* Fastest growing wifi network as measured by growth in registered users