Canary Wharf will not see any rain on its parade, with the magnificent O2 umbrellas exhibit being displayed for the first time in one of London’s most vibrant business and shopping districts.

The UK’s biggest umbrella, measuring 6 x 8 metres took three weeks to create and is made up of over 500 individual umbrellas. During its stay, over 1.2 million people who pass through Reuters Plaza are expected to be covered under it.

The canopy of umbrellas has been opened to celebrate the final O2 hotspot being switched on, as part of the partnership with Canary Wharf Group which means access to free O2 Wifi for the entire estate, including the four shopping malls, 240 cafes, bars and restaurants and the 20 acres of parks. During the week passers-by will be encouraged to take photos of the installation and tweet their pictures using the hashtag #keepsyoucovered in order to win exclusive tickets to watch England vs. Argentina in the QBE Internationals at Twickenham on November 9th, 2013.

Created by artists from Helix 3D, the interactive design will shelter visitors and local business people from the coming November rain.

The exhibit comes to Canary Wharf as O2 revolutionises internet usage in one of the world’s most foremost business and shopping districts. The presence of free, accessible O2 Wifi has already proven popular with visitors and workers in the area with an average connection time of 6.9 minutes per session, and average daily usage of 16.6mins per user*.

Gavin Franks, MD for Commerce at O2 said: “We’re delighted to celebrate the fact that O2 Wifi has Canary Wharf covered through such a visually stunning display in one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

“We understand that access to free public wifi is becoming a right rather than a privilege and nowhere is the demand greater than in Canary Wharf. Every day, hundreds of thousands of digitally-savvy people are looking to connect, shop, play and work across the estate. Now O2 Wifi can make that easier for them with our free, fast, reliable wifi for all.”

Eric van der Kleij, Specialist Technology advisor to Canary Wharf Group, said: “Wifi is a vital utility for businesses and the public. We are delighted to partner with O2 to bring free wifi access to the entire Canary Wharf community. Canary Wharf is an original smart city. Our built environment is one of the most technological advanced in the capital, so it was important for us to have a wifi provider that is experienced in delivering high quality services to ensure effortless access for those based in or visiting Canary Wharf.”

Bringing fast, free and simple to use wifi to the whole of the area, the service will benefit the 100,000 strong business community as well as providing a further draw for the growing number of technology startups, helping continue Canary Wharf’s role as a major driver of London’s digital economy.

O2 Wifi is now accessible to everyone, in all public areas including Canary Wharf’s four shopping malls. The announcement follows O2 bringing free wifi to millions of residents and visitors in central London, when they launched Europe’s largest free wi-fi zone across the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea in time for the Olympics.

To read more about O2 Wifi, head to

*usage data taken between 22 September and 21 October 2013.


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