BT Wi-fi

Guiding users to 5 million hotspots with Google Maps Platform

Google Maps Platform
Company Size
106,700 employees, annual revenues £23.746 billion (2019)
Website provided a proactive approach to designing and creating a locator that would protect the data privacy of our customers whilst providing a solution that would inform our customers of the vast BT Wi-fi network and drive BT Wi-fi usage. have not only provided us with map which we are proud to promote to our customers but have also been a pleasure to work with during the whole process.


Demand for high-speed connections on mobile devices continues to grow. To facilitate this ongoing need, the aim for BT WiFi is to display their millions of hotspot connections to their customers on their website. Helping customers connect to their services with a responsive map displaying more than 5 million hotspots is critical to BT WiFi’s business. During the process, BT WiFi faces two challenges:

  • The core of its ‘Premium’ hotspots includes venues such as HSBC, Hilton Hotels and Barclays, all of which need highly accurate location details and useful facilities information
  • BT Wi-fi’s ‘Home and Business Hub’ hotspot network need to be useful in terms of providing area-based coverage, showing where hotspots are likely to be found but without the ability to identify individual properties.

BT Wi-fi is the largest wi-fi network in the UK, offering coverage for more than 5 million UK hotspots. Their achievements include building and operating the largest high-density wireless network in the world at the London 2012 Olympic Park.


Premium Hotspots met the challenge of improving the accuracy and depth of BT Wi-fi’s Premium hotspot information using a specially-designed data management platform based around Google Maps Platform. The platform allows BT Wi-fi to find, view and correct the location of Premium hotspot venues. Crucially, it also cross-references Premium hotspot venues with Google’s vast and expanding Places database, allowing Google Places data to be leveraged within the BT Wi-fi map.

Based on Google Maps, the platform offers an efficient and intuitive workflow that lets BT Wi-fi master their Premium hotspot data.

Hub Hotspots met the challenge of representing BT Wi-fi’s vast Hub hotspot network by using the Heatmap capability within Google Maps API.

A high-performance spatial database delivers detailed Hub data to the browser, which in turn renders this information dynamically as a coverage heatmap, showing where Hub hotspots are concentrated.


After solving the hotspot data challenges, the final challenge is to pull all of the pieces together into an intuitive map within the BT Wi-fi website.

With a short time frame and delivery deadline to work with, leveraged its cloud-based software delivery platform to iterate rapidly though a number of candidate designs and feature sets. This allows BT Wi-fi to test and refine their ideas before agreeing on a final design.

The end product is a map that meets the goal of making BT Wi-fi hotspots quick and easy to find. A simple and clean design with many advanced features of Google Maps Platform, such as route planning, real-time traffic and public transit are integrated with BT Wi-fi hotspot data. The link between Premium hotspots and Google Places enables useful site information such as opening hours to be merged seamlessly into the user journey.


The new BT Wi-fi locator became production-ready in advance of its delivery deadline. As well as providing a greatly enhanced user journey for BT Wi-fi customers, the maps allows BT Wi-fi to highlight their market leadership through the distinctive use of heatmap visualisations showing more than 5 million hotspots across the UK. As the service is delivered using the web services platform, BT Wi-fi also benefits from the ability to re-use the map’s assets to provide specialised versions of the site locator across its website.

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