O2 joins pilot to connect the London Jubilee Line to 4G
Posted: 3 January 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The project is said to fall in line with O2’s focus on providing service where customers need it most, with the London Underground a notorious ‘not-spot’ for mobile signal to date.
O2 has signed an agreement with Transport for London (TfL) to bring full 4G connectivity to the Jubilee Line as part of a pilot with the other main telco providers and O2 mobile virtual network operators (MNVOs).
The pilot, which will reportedly go live in March 2020, aims to pave the way for a wider network rollout across the underground, providing much needed network signal to the five million commuters using the service every day.
The trial section of the Jubilee line will cover from Westminster to Canning Town, ensuring millions of music and sports fans visiting The O2 venue will be able to communicate with others before they arrive or on their way home.
Hundreds of miles of cabling will be installed as part of the rollout, which is part of a range of measures from Mayor Sadiq Khan to boost digital connectivity across the capital and tackle London’s areas of poor connectivity. Procurement for a concessionaire to facilitate 4G connectivity across the whole Underground network is already underway, with a look to award the contract by Summer 2020.
Derek McManus, COO at O2, said: “This is a fantastic project for O2 to be a part of and shows our relentless commitment to providing our network to our customers, wherever they are. The pilot will allow us to continue working hand in hand with TfL, and other network operators, to bring connectivity to commuters across London. This unique collaboration builds on the recent announcement of the Shared Rural Network, showing how the telecommunications industry is spearheading a more connected, mobile Britain”.
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, added: “It’s great that O2 have signed up to bring their 4G network to Jubilee line customers. The London Underground network is an incredibly challenging environment in which to deliver technological improvements, but we remain on course for customers to start benefiting from our pilot from March 2020.”