London Underground to trial in-train mobile phone service

Mobile phones

underground.pngLondon Underground has announced that it is to begin a six-month mobile phone trial on trains and platforms on the Waterloo & City Line.

Though it’s not due to start until at least April 2008, the trial will provide mobile coverage for Waterloo and Bank stations, as well as in the tunnels. The line was chosen because it is at a deep level, and isolated from the rest of the Tube network.

The primary aim of the trial is to see whether it’s technically and commercially feasible to extend mobile coverage to the whole Network.

“Should the trial prove a technical and commercial success, then London Underground will consider how to provide mobile phone and telecommunications services across the Tube network. This would enable passengers to enjoy the benefits of the same mobile and new technology services that are available on the overground sections of the Underground network. If the trial is not a success then London Underground will not proceed with plans to extend mobile phone coverage to the Tube,” said Richard Parry, LU Strategy and Service Development Director.

45% of the Tube network is currently underground and cut off from mobile signal reception. If the trials are successful, it could also lead the way to providing other services such as Internet access.

As well as the personal and business benefits mobile access on the Tube could generate, it would also be highly useful in the case of an emergency.


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Andy Merrett
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