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London underground to get full mobile network by end of 2024

·2-min read
Soon Londoners will be able to chat the phone while on the tube (Reuters)
Soon Londoners will be able to chat the phone while on the tube (Reuters)

The London underground will have full mobile coverage by the end of 2024, the mayor of London has announced.

Transport for London (TfL) explained work on some of the capital’s busiest stations – including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Bank – would begin soon, with plans for them to be among the first fully connected stations by the end of next year.

Camden Town and Euston will also be in the preliminary group of stations to be connected.

A 20-year concession has been awarded to BAI Communications by TfL. BAI is a global provider of 4G and 5G connected infrastructure and its work will counter the so-called not-spots in the network.

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, who was re-elected last month, said: “I promised Londoners that if they re-elected me for a second term as mayor, I would deliver 4G throughout the tube network.”

Some of London’s tube network is already covered by permanent phone reception, including the eastern half of the Jubilee line, which has had mobile phone reception since March last year.

Prior to this, mobile coverage on underground sections of the tube had previously only been available during a short trial on the Waterloo and City line that took place during the summer of 2017.

Mr Khan said: “It’s already up and running on the eastern half of the Jubilee line, and I’m delighted to announce today that I am fulfilling that commitment and full internet access will be available across the tube, with key central London stations such as Oxford Circus and Euston set to benefit before the end of next year.”

Shashi Verma, the chief technology officer at TfL, said: “London underground was born in the 19th century, and this concession to deliver mobile coverage to the whole tube network ensures it continues to adapt for customers in the 21st century.

“Providing mobile connectivity to customers within the tunnels and on platforms across London will help them stay connected more easily, and will both provide a long-term revenue stream for TfL and support economic growth across the city.”

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