4G Mobile Coverage On The Tube From 2019

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 22 months ago

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4G Mobile Coverage On The Tube From 2019

The days of losing phone signal between tube stations could soon be behind us.

TfL has announced that from 2019, 4G mobile coverage will be rolled out across the London Underground network.

The news comes following a successful technology trial on the Waterloo & City line, in September 2017. All four major mobile network operators (Vodafone, O2, Three and EE) participated in the design of the trial.

Many of the world's major metro systems — including Seoul, Berlin, Shanghai, Tokyo — already enjoy full mobile coverage. But although London has offered Wi-Fi to its passengers on a number of tube platforms and tickets areas since 2012, it lags behind when it comes to comprehensive coverage. That's due, in part, to smallness of its tunnels, and the expense of such a project.

TfL's announcement, though, suggests the network is finally facing its technical demons.

London's Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said: "This is a brilliant initiative and part of our work to improve connectivity at home, in our high streets, public spaces and across the transport network. TfL's innovation shows we can make a real difference and benefit Londoners through using city-wide public assets in a smarter way, starting with the tube."

TfL will begin tendering for a service provider in 2018. It has not yet been confirmed which tube lines — or track between consecutive stations — will be first to benefit from the technology, although roll out will be gradual.

Last Updated 27 November 2017