Full mobile coverage planned for London Underground
Transport for London is in talks with communication groups to offer full mobile coverage in underground tunnels for London Tube passengers.
The elimination of “not spots” in Tube channels was one of the manifesto pledges made by London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year.
According to the BBC, telecoms firms have been invited by TfL and the London Mayor to develop the infrastructure necessary for the Underground’s 4G wi-fi coverage.
“We are keen to offer mobile phone coverage for our customers. The introduction of this would need to be commercially viable and would follow engagement with staff and customers,” a TfL spokesman said.
Companies that might be interested in providing the service include BT, Australian telecoms company BAI communications, Chinese firm Huawei, and Virgin Media, which created the wi-fi infrastructure for Tube platforms.
Although details of the contract are not known yet, development of the network could be subsidised, potentially costing more than a hundred million pounds, according to Sky News.
4G wi-fi coverage would no doubt be welcomed by commuters, allowing them to make uninterrupted calls, browse the web, and use apps that require an internet connection.
Underground mobile phone coverage has been available in other major world cities, including Berlin, New York and Paris, for several years.