The free internet access network will be installed on buses and metro platforms to offer a WiFi connection on 1,130 buses and at 16 stations by 2016. New hotspots will be added to municipal parks and gardens as well and, in a second phase, to the municipal markets and at the Port of Barcelona.
Barcelona City Council is going to spend 3.6 million euros on installing the WiFi service on public transport and expanding it to municipal parks and gardens. In all there will be 1,527 new WiFi hotspots in addition to today’s 700.
The first underground stations that will benefit from will be those at Plaça Espanya, La Sagrera, Universitat, Arc de Triomf and Diagonal. And 50 buses will have it on lines H12, B20 and V7. The roll-out will be finished in 2016 with 1,130 buses (1030 regular buses; 70 Tourist Buses; 30 Neighbourhood Buses) and 16 metro stations equipped with the WiFi service.
In a second phase the service will be installed in 21 municipal markets and the 11 docks in the Port of Barcelona. The target is to make the service available in all city neighbourhoods so everyone can take advantage of Barcelona being a smart city.
It represents another step towards establishing Barcelona as an international reference point in the mobile technology sector. The city’s mayor, Xavier Trias, pointed out that “we want to continue being a smart city”.
A successful model
This free service, with demand growing, is currently used by an average of 100,000 users a month. In satisfaction surveys it scores 6.6 out of 10. These surveys also show the WiFi service is firmly rooted in the city and that more than 83% of connections to the City Council WiFi network are made by smartphones.