IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

TfL 'will introduce 4G to London's tube'

BT, Huawei, BAI Communications and Arqiva could all bid for the work - report

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will invite mobile operators to submit their proposals for bringing mobile signal to the tube after next week's general election, it is reported.

Three people told the Financial Times about the plans, suggesting BAI Communications, Wireless Infrastructure Group, Arqiva, BT, Huawei and Airvana, part of CommScope, could all bid to win the job.

BT-owned EE already has strong connections with London Underground, with its equipment and service implemented to help emergency services communicate underground. However, it's likely to be a much bigger job than just running a low-level use network, with thousands of tube users wanting to make calls and send texts underground.

"We are keen to offer full mobile phone coverage for our customers," a TfL spokesperson said. "The introduction of this would need to be commercially viable and would follow engagement with staff and customers."

The FT's sources declined to reveal how TfL would expect the network to operate, although the obvious choices seem to be striking up a revenue deal with a telecoms company or subsidise the network to make it more attractive to customers. However, if it's to stump up the cash, TfL would have to gain approval from the public.

"While a number of stations along the TfL network already offer users Wi-Fi services, full mobile phone coverage will enable users to fully make the most of their time on the tube whether that's checking Facebook or replying to emails," William Newton, EMEA director at WiredScore said.

"And with such vast lengths of time on the underground begrudgingly spent by commuters across the city every day, there's no question that this will be a very welcome improvement to TfL's service."

Other cities around the world already have a mobile phone network operating underground including New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris and Seoul.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

EnGenius ECW220S review: Peerless protection
routers

EnGenius ECW220S review: Peerless protection

30 Jun 2022
LTE vs 4G
Mobile

LTE vs 4G

21 Jun 2022
What is Wi-Fi 6?
wifi & hotspots

What is Wi-Fi 6?

17 May 2022
Zyxel NWA90AX review: Wi-Fi 6 at a bargain price
wifi & hotspots

Zyxel NWA90AX review: Wi-Fi 6 at a bargain price

20 Apr 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022