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BT payphones get Wi-Fi

Not all of them, obviously

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BT has begun installing Wi-Fi gear in its network of 108,000 public phone boxes.

Of course, they won't all get the makeover treatment. The monster telco reckons that 91 payphones will be kitted out by the end of the week. Fast-forward to Christmas and some 200 public payphones should have Wi-Fi hooked up.

Ultimately, thousands of phone boxes could get the Wi-Fi treatment, but that's a long way ahead.

Anyhow, those payphones earmarked for Wi-Fi have been selected because they're in areas where "workers away from the office will be able to sit down and send an email or download a presentation at broadband speed, such as hotels, cafes or restaurants".

The vandal-proof Wi-Fi installations - about the size of a phone book - have also been tested to survive a British winter and can even be installed invisibly in BT's traditional old-style red phone boxes.

Separately, BT has snuggled up with Intel and Dell to plug its "Openzone" Wi-Fi service.

Punters who splash out on an Intel Centrino-powered Dell notebook will be able to use BT Openzone free for the first 90 days, a saving of £255.

If they then go on to take out a subscription to BT Openzone, they will receive a 50 per cent discount on any subscription, for 12 months. This offer is available for three months. ®

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