L-R: Mark Keenan Director at Real Wireless, Philip Brown GOWEX Chief Exec for North Europe, Newcastle Council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes and Gateshead Council Leader Cllr Mick Henry.

Newcastle and Gateshead have announced that GOWEX, which has already successfully created wireless ‘smart cities’ including San Francisco and Dubai, is to install free Wi-Fi in scores of public areas.

Announcing the service, the council leaders of both cities pointed out that residents and visitors using the service will be able to connect to free Wi-Fi on both sides of the river, at any time of the day or night.

GOWEX’s Chief Executive for North Europe, Philip Brown, visited the North East to celebrate the contract at a ceremony held at the Millennium Bridge.

Jenaro Garcia, the company’s Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely proud that the City of Newcastle and Gateshead have trusted GOWEX to offer to all their citizens and visitors the best free Wi-Fi service in order to transform them in Wireless Smart Cities.

“These contracts create a platform for GOWEX growth in the United Kingdom, as well as in the rest of the world.”

People who sign up to access the GOWEX-provided Wi-Fi in Newcastle and Gateshead will be able to connect free in other cities around the world where the company operates.

The project – which received Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – is part of the Go Digital Newcastle initiative, which is bringing superfast broadband to 97 per cent of the city by summer 2015.

Go Digital Newcastle is a government scheme delivered by Newcastle City Council and is designed to boost the local economy. Small and medium businesses can apply for free vouchers worth up to £3,000 towards the cost of getting their businesses connected to superfast broadband.

Businesses can also access a programme of free business support to show them how to make the most of their speedy connections. Specialist advisers will give practical advice and help, including details on how businesses can get a grant of up to £2,000 for related equipment and consultancy projects.

The Government’s Super Connected Cities Programme, covers the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme, Wi-Fi in the city and the Cloud Innovation Centre.