4G Coverage on the Tube a Step Closer as TfL Welcomes Bid from Providers

By tompagenet (Tom Page) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Having mobile data coverage on the Tube has moved a step closer following the invitation of transport bosses of bids from the providers.

On Thursday, the Transport for London held a behind-closed-doors event at the City Hall as it asked the suppliers to bid for the contract to provide 4G on the Underground.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has established a 2019 deadline for the commencement the of 4G coverage in the Tube tunnels as a part of a major effort to eliminate the “not-spots” of the capital.

The said plans involve giving passengers full access to mobile networks, enabling London to catch up with the other great global cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Paris or New York.

TfL said that its event that was on Thursday was attended by the representatives of major mobile phone networks, as well as the representatives of mobile technology companies from across the globe.

In a message to potential providers, TfL said that the mobile market of London is worth £3bn per ear, and promised to “deliver full mobile coverage at stations and in tunnels so that commuters can enjoy seamless connectivity.”

TfL stated: “In the future, customers will be able to catch up on last night’s TV, stream music or read their emails or the latest news uninterrupted.”

Even though the aim is for 4G coverage to begin before the end of next year, it will be possibly be rolled out over a longer timescale due to the complexity of the said technology.

The historic first subterranean phone calls under central London will be made by the passengers on the Elizabeth Line, which will be able to access full mobile coverage when the services are launched in December 2018.

The said measures will virtually bring an end to the last “hiding place” for Londoners who are wishing to avoid being contacted on their phones.

Val Shawcross, the Deputy Mayor for Transport, stated: “This is the next step towards meeting Londoners demand for fast mobile connectivity on the Tube. This will make a real difference to millions of passengers and help them get more out of the time they spend on the Tube.”