Customers of all four UK mobile network operators (MNOs) will enjoy 4G/5G connectivity across the London Tube.
Shashi Verma, CTO at Transport for London (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.”
Two of the UK’s major MNOs, EE and Three, had previously committed to joining the London Tube-wide network operated by BAI Communications. Today, the final two operators – Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 – confirmed they will also be joining.
Lutz Schüler, CEO at Virgin Media O2, commented:
“With our 5G network already reaching two-thirds of Londoners, this investment will bring next-generation mobile connectivity deep underground for the first time ever, giving our customers a seamless service while on the move.
We’ve already invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the capital to expand and upgrade our fixed and mobile networks which has accelerated London’s transformation into a cutting-edge digital hub, fuelling growth and connecting communities to gigabit services.”
BAI has been gradually rolling out its network across the Tube.
Following the successful transfer of the previous pilot section on the eastern end of the Jubilee line to BAI earlier this year, the next five stations – Bank, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, and Camden Town – will go live within the next six months.
Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI Communications UK, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 to our network and to reach another key milestone in our work to build a backbone of connectivity across the capital.
Staying connected is more important than ever, and we are proud to be working with our partners to offer 5G-ready connectivity which will transform the way people move and work in the capital, allowing them to travel more smartly, safely and securely.”
TfL awarded BAI a 20-year concession in June 2021 to deliver uninterrupted mobile connectivity across the Tube network.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, explained:
“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.”
Some sections of London’s underground network will go live by summer 2023, including stations and tunnels through the City and West End. TfL and BAI are continuing to progress with delivering mobile coverage across the recently opened central section of the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
BAI’s network will also support the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) to ensure first-responders get immediate access to all the information, data, and images they need to save lives in emergencies.
(Photo by Will H McMahan on Unsplash)
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