A Wi-Fi hotspot the size of 50 football pitches has gone live at Heathrow Terminal 5.

The hotspot, run by T-Mobile, is the operator’s largest in the UK and offers airport visitors wireless internet speeds of up to 8 Mbps on their laptops, PDAs and smartphones. T-Mobile also runs smaller Wi-Fi hotspots at other Heathrow terminals.

T-Mobile mobile broadband service subscribers will be able to access the network for free with High-Speed Uplink Packet Access, speeding upload times by up to five times. Other users will pay £5 for one hour or £10 for a day.

Ian Denchfield, head of commercial telecoms at airport operator BAA, said: “Seamless internet connectivity is an important part of our commitment to innovation and will form a key element in the future of travel.”

Terminal 5, which cost £4.3 billion and only operates British Airways flights, opened in March to a range of IT system problems. Two months later, BA boss Willie Walsh blamed a message filter accidentally left on after software testing as the root of the widespread problems.

In July, it emerged that up to 1,000 bags were being delayed daily in the system at Terminal 5. BA said other interconnecting airlines were at fault for delivering the bags late.

Approximately 27 million passengers will travel through Terminal 5 each year, according to estimates.

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