(Pocket-lint) – Three and EE have partnered to become the first operators to offer mobile coverage throughout London’s entire Underground Tube network.
They have signed a combined deal with BAI Communications – the company chosen by Transport for London to supply mobile connectivity in tunnels, on platforms and in ticket offices of every station.
BAI was awared a 20-year concession to operate the system in June this year, so will run it until at least 2041.
The technology used will be 5G-ready, although may start by offering 4G services to begin with.
2021 tech special – Pocket-lint Podcast 134
Three and EE customers will be able to benefit from launch. Other networks may join in time, with the BAI system designed to be operator neutral. Meanwhile, their customers will be able to continue to use the existing Wi-Fi services available on platforms (as run by Virgin Media O2).
Work started in adding mobile connectivity to Camden Town, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank and Euston earlier this year, with completion planned by the end of 2022. It is expected all stations will be able to offer uninterrupted coverage by the end of 2024.
“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,” said the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn.
“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.”
Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on .