06/01/2012 10:56 GMT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 GMT

O2 To Create Europe's Largest Free WiFi Network In London

O2 has announced that it will create Europe's largest free WiFi network in London.

The service will be rolled out in 2012 in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea.

The mobile phone operator says that millions of people will be able to enjoy the new service, free of charge and "make the most of what London has to offer".

The service will cost nothing for taxpayers, and will be powered by technology installed on street furniture including lampposts.

Councillor Philippa Roe from Westminster City Council, said: "Westminster welcomes over a million tourists a day, is home to 250,000 residents, employs over half a million people and sees 4,000 business starts-ups each year.

"Visitors to London will easily be able to share their pictures and updates of the Olympic events across social networking sites."

The Metro network will be installed starting this month, and will slowly be rolled out across the city. O2 said it expects the network to be installed by march.

O2 says it the system will be available in time for the Olympic games.

Derek McManus, chief operating officer for O2, said: "Our longer-term aim is to expand our footprint of O2 wi-fi, which is open to everyone, and also intelligently enhance our services at street level, where people need the network the most."