SUCH an off-the-wall marketing ploy, it seemed to have the hallmarks of an April Fool stunt, except that the story was unleashed on April 2. There are now 10 black cabs in Birmingham, repainted in a sunshade demanding bright cyan, tooled up to give passengers free 4G telephony in transit.
This is the latest throw of the promotional dice by mobile provider EE, seemingly desperate to gain our interest in its superfast new generation phone service. These taxis, along with 30 of their counterparts in the capital, are apparently intended to highlight how 4G could revolutionise life.
Just as the motorised cab was a huge leap forward when introduced in 1901 to replace those Dickensian horse powered Hackney coaches, EE is trying to persuade us….. but I am sure you can fill in the rest of this flimsy analogy without me spelling it out.
EE’s 4G service was first launched last October in 10 cities but has now grown to reach half of the UK population. Enthusiasm for it, though, has been lukewarm.
So, passengers with a 4G enabled phone can now get free faster downloads whilst travelling in a bright blue cab.
Those with older 3G limited phones are unlikely to feel they are missing out, and will wait for the prices to fall, perhaps after the other providers launch their 4G services later this year.