LONDON: Mobile phone company O2 is to build Europe's largest free WiFi zone in the heart of London.

A deal between the network operator, Westminster Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea will give residents and visitors to the boroughs free internet access on smartphones, computers and tablets.

O2 says the deal has no cost to the taxpayer.

Chief Operating Officer Derek McManus said the company aimed "to expand our footprint of O2 Wifi, which is open to everyone, and also intelligently enhance our services at street level, where people need the network the most."

Work to install the WiFi network will start this month and the necessary equipment will be fitted to existing street furniture.

The service will initially be rolled out in a limited number of areas and then throughout the boroughs over the longer term.