London Underground customers to have access to high-speed mobile coverage
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Posted: 11 July 2022 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet
Once mobile connectivity on the London Underground is fully delivered, customers will be able to make calls wherever they are across the Tube network, as well as check the latest travel information, amongst others.
Credit: Transport for London
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that access to high-speed mobile connectivity on the Tube has taken another major step forward, with Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 joining BAI Communications’ (BAI) network.
Customers of all four mobile network operators – Three, EE, Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 – will be able to access high-speed 4G and 5G-ready mobile connectivity across the Tube, including within the tunnels.
BAI was awarded a 20-year concession by Transport for London (TfL) in June 2021 to deliver mobile connectivity on the London Underground. Once complete, customers will be able to make calls wherever they are across the Tube network, check the latest travel information, keep on top of their emails, catch up on social media and live stream videos, transforming the passenger experience and securing London’s transformation into a smart city.
BAI’s neutral host mobile network will also host the new Emergency Services Network (ESN), which will give first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline.
Work on delivering 4G coverage across the Tube network is well underway, following the successful transfer of the previous pilot section on the eastern end of the Jubilee line to BAI in early 2022. Positive progress now means that the next five stations to get coverage – Bank, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, and Camden Town – will go live within the next six months.
All stations and tunnels across the Tube network remain on course to have high-quality and uninterrupted mobile coverage. Some sections of the London Underground will go live by summer 2023 – including parts of the Central line including stations and tunnels through the City and West End. TfL and BAI are also continuing to progress with delivering mobile coverage across the recently opened central section of the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
Mobile operators will also ensure continued and improved coverage via Wi-Fi on the London Underground and Elizabeth line when the network transfers to BAI in April 2023.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Improving the capital’s connectivity and digital infrastructure is central to London’s economic recovery from the pandemic, so I am delighted that Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 customers will now have access to high-speed mobile coverage when travelling on the Tube. I committed to Londoners that I would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network as part of my determination to build a better London for everyone – and I have no doubt that this will transform journeys for millions of passengers.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “Mobile connectivity across the stations and tunnels across the Tube network will help our customers stay connected more easily as well as work, shop and stay in touch on the move. I’m delighted that all four major mobile operators are set to provide high-speed, uninterrupted 4G coverage on the Tube.”
Across the wider Connected London programme, BAI anticipates investing more than £1 billion on establishing a backbone of mobile and digital connectivity for London. A full-fibre network will also be delivered that will connect to buildings and street assets, like traffic lights and lampposts that house small mobile transmitter cells to leverage the power of 5G and the Internet of Things.
5G & Transport Communications, IoT (Internet of Things), Public Transport
BAI, Transport for London (TfL)
Sadiq Khan, Shashi Verma