4G coverage across the tube network has moved a step closer, as TfL has agreed a deal with mobile providers EE and Three.
Customers will benefit from high-speed 4G and 5G-ready mobile connectivity from early 2022, as the new technology is rolled out. By the end of 2024, 4G coverage will be available at all station platforms and on all trains.
A pilot scheme has been in operation on the eastern section of the Jubilee line since 2020. Work has already been undertaken at some of the busiest stations including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town, which will be the first to launch the coverage.
Earlier this year, BAI Communications was awarded a 20-year concession to deliver the technology required. The project is privately funded and will generate additional revenue for TfL at a time when its funds are severely stretched.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:
I’m delighted to see Three and EE sign up as the first operators to provide full high-speed 4G access across the tube network. This will make a huge difference to passengers, allowing them to make calls, read emails and check travel information while on the move. Investing in London’s connectivity and digital infrastructure is one important way we are helping to stimulate our city’s economy. It also represents a significant step towards ensuring the whole Tube network has 5G-ready mobile coverage.
The idea of 4G on the tube has been around since 2018, and WiFi connections on tube platforms have been in place since 2012. Those station WiFi networks will remain, and WiFi access within tube tunnels will be introduced later in 2022.
The 4G connection will be made available on the Elizabeth line as soon as possible after it opens, which is due to be in the first half of 2022.