MTA to provide mobile connectivity across NYC subway system

Posted: 27 July 2022 | | No comments yet

The expansion of mobile coverage will improve the existing MTA communication system, allowing customers to benefit from mobile connectivity and Wi-Fi in the tunnels between stations, as well as in above-ground stations.

MTA to provide mobile connectivity across NYC subway network

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced a public-private partnership to provide mobile coverage throughout all 418 track miles of subway tunnels, along with an expansion of Wi-Fi service to all 191 above-ground subway and 21 Staten Island Railway stations.

Transit customers currently enjoy cellular and Wi-Fi service at all 281 underground subway stations through Transit Wireless, a BAI Communications Company. A proposed expansion would transform the subway system into a fully digitally connected transit network that gives riders the ability to use their mobile devices throughout the entire subway system.

“Bringing cell connectivity to the tunnels between stations and Wi-Fi to above-ground stations is a major step forward in enhancing transit riders’ experience,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “And the deal MTA has landed will also help the MTA’s bottom line – a major concern as the pandemic winds down.”

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“We live in a digitally connected world and serve a city that is always on the go,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “Having uninterrupted network connection underground will re-imagine how New Yorkers travel by providing the opportunity to take advantage of every minute of their commute with cell service and internet connection, which can also ease any traveling obstacles visitors face when trying to navigate the system. We look forward to using the enhanced connectivity to improve the service information we provide for customers.”

All underground stations currently have mobile service and Wi-Fi. The proposed agreement would expand this to provide connectivity in the tunnels between stations and in above-ground stations. In addition, it will enable Transit Wireless to improve the existing MTA communication system and generate revenue by marketing unused fibre to private customers. The company would design, build and operate a neutral-host network that provides every subway tunnel in the system with a wireless communication connection.

Overall, the project is expected to result in over $1 billion in benefit for MTA and its customers over the life of the agreement in terms of service provided, additional revenue and cost savings. Work on the project will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in 10 years. Riders will be able to use the new services as each section is completed.