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BMW brings Wi-Fi to London showrooms

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BMW is to roll out public Wi-Fi Internet access at three of its London showrooms and service centres, the motor manufacturer said today.

The service's provision comes courtesy of BT Openzone and is geared toward customers availing themselves of BMW's one-hour mend-and-mop Fast Track service package. Alas, while Fast Track includes free coffee, newspapers and even a massage, it doesn't cover gratis Internet access. Presumably they figure if you can afford a beemer, you're well able to cough up £6-an-hour or 23.5p a minute for a connection to BT Openzone's access point.

Vouchers will presumably be on sale at the dealerships. Certainly staff have been trained to help customers get connected, BT Openzone said.

BT Openzone has added Wi-Fi access points to BMW's Westminster and Park Lane showrooms, along with the company's Nine Elms Aftersales Centre.

BMW told The Register it is encouraging the rest of its dealer network to take up the service. The BT Openzone is also being installed at the BMW Performance Centre racing venue at Rockingham, Northants.

BT's wireless broadband division yesterday announced a two-way roaming deal with UK WISP Broadreach Networks, whose ReadyToSurf customers will now be able to use the BMW hotspots too. BT Openzone already has roaming deals with Wi-Fi providers The Cloud and T-Mobile, giving its own customers access to some 7,800 hotspots around the country.

BMW is, of course, one of the car companies currently investigating ways of allowing vehicles to talk to each other across ad hoc WLANs and share information about upcoming traffic jams and hazards. ®

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