Access to high-speed mobile connectivity on the Tube has taken another major step forward today, with all major networks.
Customers of all four mobile network operators – like Vodafone – will be able to access high-speed 4G and 5G-ready mobile connectivity across the Tube, including within the tunnels.
BAI Communications was awarded a 20-year concession by Transport for London (TfL) in June 2021 to deliver mobile connectivity on the Underground. Once complete, customers will be able to make calls wherever they are on the Underground, check the latest travel information, keep on top of their emails, catch up on social media and live stream videos, transforming the passenger experience and securing London’s transformation into a smart city.
Work on delivering 4G coverage across the Tube network is well underway, following the successful transfer of the previous pilot section on the eastern end of the Jubilee line to BAI earlier this year. Positive progress now means that the next five stations to get coverage – Bank, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, and Camden Town – will go live within the next six months. The additional connectivity within these stations will help customers visiting the city to make plans for shopping, events and socialising with friends and family in Central London across the festive season.
All stations and tunnels across the Tube network remain on course to have high-quality and uninterrupted mobile coverage. Some sections of Tube network will go live by summer 2023 – including parts of the Central line including stations and tunnels through the City and West End. TfL and BAI are also continuing to progress with delivering mobile coverage across the recently opened central section of the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
Mobile operators will also ensure continued and improved coverage via Wi-Fi on the London Underground and Elizabeth line when the network transfers to BAI in April 2023.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Improving the capital’s connectivity and digital infrastructure is central to London’s economic recovery from the pandemic, so I am delighted that Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 customers will now have access to high-speed mobile coverage when travelling on the Tube.
“I committed to Londoners that I would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network as part of my determination to build a better London for everyone – and I have no doubt that this will transform journeys for millions of passengers.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “Mobile connectivity across the stations and tunnels across the Tube network will help our customers stay connected more easily as well as work, shop and stay in touch on the move. I’m delighted that all four major mobile operators are set to provide high-speed, uninterrupted 4G coverage on the Tube. We are working hard with BAI Communications to get the next stations completed by the end of the year so our customers can benefit as soon as possible.”
Ahmed Essam, CEO at Vodafone UK, said: “The UK needs world class digital infrastructure, and bringing 4G and 5G to the London Underground is a big part of that. 4G on the eastern stretch of the Jubilee line is already making a huge difference to our customers, and we’re proud to continue our investment in keeping consumers and businesses connected across more parts of London.”