Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the eastern half of the Jubilee line will be able to access full mobile connectivity – helping to remove one of the most high-profile mobile ‘not-spots’ in the UK.
The pilot section, which covers Jubilee line platforms and tunnels between Westminster and Canning Town, will allow customers to make phone calls, check for the latest travel information, catch up on social media, watch a video and read their emails or the latest news uninterrupted during their journeys. Ticket halls and corridors within stations are also covered by the pilot, except for London Bridge and Waterloo stations where the signal will just be available on the Jubilee line platforms.
All customers with EE, O2, Three UK and Vodafone, including those on virtual operators who use their services will be able to connect to the signal from today. The pilot builds on TfL’s existing free Wi-Fi service and is using some of the cabling installed with Home Office funding to support the Emergency Services Network.
Following the first pilot section going live, TfL will begin work to expand 4G access to cover platforms and tunnels across the entire Jubilee line by the end of the year. TfL hopes to award a contract to deliver mobile coverage across the whole Underground network in the summer, so that other lines can begin to get mobile connectivity from 2021.
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “Poor mobile connectivity is a major barrier to growth so I’m delighted that Tube passengers on the eastern section of the Jubilee line will be able to enjoy 4G access. This milestone will enable Londoners and visitors to get online while travelling through tunnels and platforms, doing everything from watching videos and messaging friends to catching up on emails.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “We are delighted to have delivered this pilot of 4G mobile signal on the eastern end of the Jubilee line. This has been very complex work to install the necessary equipment to allow our customers to be able to get phone reception within our tunnels while keeping the stations open and operational.
“We are now looking at extending the pilot to cover the entire Jubilee line by the end of the year, as well as award our wider concession to allow the whole Underground network to be connected in the future.”
- The 4G pilot was developed by TfL with Capita, who worked with Nokia and Installation Technology Ltd. It has cost TfL £10m to deliver, which TfL aims to recoup from the wider concessionaire. As well as benefiting customers, providing 4G on the network will generate additional revenue for TfL across the 20-year length of the concession, as well as helping operational teams by providing better connectivity while underground. The pilot is using some of the cabling installed with Home Office funding to support the Emergency Services Network, which will eventually be purchased by the concessionaire.
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