SURREY, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 13, 2012) - The Cloud, the public WiFi provider, is launching a new content portal to bring the latest news, sport and travel information free to WiFi users on the go in some of Britain's busiest transport hubs.
The Cloud, which is the first to combine free WiFi access with free content, will make lead stories from Sky News and Sky Sports News, the biggest commercial sports and news brands on mobile, available to all of its WiFi users in a number of station locations. This will include headlines, stories, images and video footage of selected content from the award-winning Sky News, first for breaking news, and Sky Sports News, the UK's only dedicated sports news service.
Over the summer The Cloud will also add real-time local and national travel news to the content portal for users, including an up-to-the-minute Tube departure board, a TfL journey planner, plus information on service disruptions.
The news and sport content will be available when users are in range of a station's hotspot on The Cloud's network, but they won't need to log on or download any apps as the content is available immediately on the stations' WiFi home page. The service delivers quick and digestible information to people on the go without them needing to access 3G wireless services, which may be unreliable, slow, or subject to costly mobile data allowances.
The service will launch on 15th June for all users at London's Euston Station, which is managed by Network Rail. The Cloud will expand their wireless networking services to an additional 52 transport hubs across the UK during the summer, including stations operated by Network Rail, First Great Western, London Overground and Glasgow Subway.
The content portal also carries advertising space, giving brands a unique opportunity for location-based video advertising targeting commuters and visitors during specific times of the day. Initial targeting options include by location, day part or by device type. The user journey is seamless: from the moment they open the station's home page the advert is presented and consumers can click through directly to the brand's website, without ever needing to log on. Gregg's will be first advertiser to use the service.
Martin Kibler, Trading and Marketing Director from Greggs, which signed a deal with The Cloud to install WiFi in all its stores earlier this year, said: "We see WiFi as a way to give a better experience to customers in our shops and to reach them in a way that fits with their lives. The amount of time people spend on their smartphones is growing - and many of them are more likely to spend time on their phone than with a newspaper when they drink their coffee. This new ad platform is a great way to reach these customers during key times of the day and offer them attractive reasons to remain loyal to the Greggs brand."
Over 650 million journeys are made through these transport hubs every year and customers will be able to view the service regardless of network provider. According to Ofcom, more than 50% of UK adults owns a smartphone and 9% own a tablet.*
Vince Russell, managing director of The Cloud, said: "We know that people value being able to keep up to date with the latest breaking news and sports stories and this service allows free access to all users whether waiting for a train or simply enjoying a coffee in the station. The ability to get up to date travel information in the palm of your hand will also greatly enhance customers travelling experience. This is the first in a number of new services we're working on to enhance the WiFi experience for our users so we're looking forward to announcing further innovations over the coming months."
The Cloud now has over 10,000 hotspots around the UK. An estimated 4m people every day pass through The Cloud network by visiting one of its partners, including major outlets like Greggs, PizzaExpress, Caffè Nero, Eat, Pret A Manger and Wagamama, as well as First Great Western and Network Rail stations.
* OFCOM Data Source: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/cmr11/icmr/1_-_context.pdf
About The Cloud
• The Cloud (www.thecloud.net) builds and operates WiFi networks across the UK and Europe to provide the mobile media experience that consumers want. The service delivers simple, fast, reliable and cost effective broadband to millions of WiFi enabled smartphones, laptops and entertainment devices. The Cloud has exclusive commercial partnerships with retail, leisure, hotels, sports, transport, and entertainment and content partners to deliver its longer-term vision of a connected society.
• The Cloud connects almost a million devices to its WiFi network each month, including Nintendo 3DS users and at locations such as the Emirates Stadium, Silverstone Race Track, the City of London, Wetherspoon, PizzaExpress, Pret A Manger, Caffe Nero, Eat, pubs, leisure facilities, restaurants and mainline stations.
• The Cloud is a BSkyB Company.
• Since mid-April millions of Sky Broadband customers have been able to enjoy free, unlimited and high-speed WiFi access at The Cloud's thousands of public hotspots right across the UK. The service - "WiFi Hotspots from The Cloud" - is available at no extra charge to all Sky Broadband Unlimited, Fibre Unlimited and Connect homes, offering even more great value for Sky Broadband customers.