London Underground mobile coverage is being extended to all stations and tunnels by the end of 2024. However, at present only 4G (LTE) coverage is guaranteed, and it will be up to individual carriers to decide whether or not to offer 5G support too.

Transport for London says five of the busiest tube stations will get full coverage by the end of next year …

Currently, mobile coverage is available only on above-ground stations and track sections – plus the eastern half of the Jubilee Line, between Westminster and Canning Town, which was used as a test ahead of the full rollout.

TfL made the announcement today.

Customers on London Underground will be able to access full mobile connectivity and internet access within every station and tunnel, the Mayor of London has today announced […]

This will allow customers to check the latest travel information, keep on top of their emails and the latest news, catch up on social media, watch videos or make calls throughout their journeys […]

The neutral host network being delivered as part of this concession will be the most advanced network of its kind in the world and available for use by all mobile operators. The infrastructure will also be 5G ready, allowing for a seamless upgrade for mobile operators in the future.

Five stations have been prioritized, coming online by the end of next year.

Work will now begin to prepare some of London’s busiest stations for mobile connectivity, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town, ahead of them being some of the first to be connected by the end of 2022.

BAI Communications will run the network, which involves installing 1,243 miles of cabling, and will then sell access to each of the UK mobile operators. For iPhone and Android users, the process will be seamless, their devices automatically connecting to their own carrier.

BAI pays a fee to TfL for the opportunity, bringing in much-needed revenue for a transport network that has been devastated by the pandemic as many work from home.

Additionally, the same cabling will carry fiber optic cables for wired and wireless broadband connectivity throughout the city, as well as the new Emergency Services Network used by police, fire, and ambulance services.

Photo: Max Patel/Unsplash

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