Shoppers will soon be able to browse the web for free when a shopping centre becomes a high speed wi-fi hotspot.
Ellandi, owners of Kettering’s Newlands Centre, have signed an agreement with BSkyB-owned The Cloud, to provide free, high speed wi-fi for customers to use while they browse the shops.
Ellandi partner Mark Robinson said: “This shows our commitment to bring the type of service and amenity to local communities that most would expect in major shopping centres such as Cribbs Causeway or Westfield London.”
The service will allow customers to use free wi-fi on their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, use apps, and check social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Customers who link up to the Cloud will be asked to register, and after that, will be redirected to a branded webpage which will connect them to the web.
Bosses hope that retailers and restaurant owners will make use of the service by offering customers deals and discounts to those who log on.
Neil Griffin, manager of the Newlands Centre, said: “Installing wi-fi is a boost to everyone who comes to the Newlands Shopping Centre.
“The shoppers get a free amenity, and greater convenience and the stores will benefit from higher footfall through their doors with customers staying longer.”
The deal with The Cloud will add to the company’s system of more than 10,000 networks across the country,
The company estimates more than four million people pass through its network every day, and it has big name partners such as Land Securities, Ted Baker, Mamas and Papas, and the Glasgow Subway underground service.
Vince Russell, managing director of The Cloud, said: “Wi-fi access adds so much to the experience for shoppers, so we’re delighted Ellandi has recognised that potential and has made our service available to visitors.
“We look forward to delivering fast, reliable internet access to the thousands of people filing through the doors of Ellandi’s sites every day.”
A spokesman for Ellandi said the deal with The Cloud had been signed very recently, and once all the relevant paperwork is completed, a date can be set for when the hotspot goes live. The spokesman added it is likely that the centre’s wi-fi will go live within the next few months.