London Underground to get Mobile coverage

If you’ve travelled by the London Underground or the Tube, which its commonly known as, you know that as soon as you enter the Underground station and whist in the train you will people reading books, newspapers etc., which no one uses the phone, the reason being, there is no network coverage in the about 90% of the Sophisticated Underground that power the London travellers. While there have been speculations before, here is something concrete coming out.

Passengers on the London Underground will soon be able to call, text and send emails whilst travelling for the first time.

The Telegraph reports that French telecoms firm Alcatel-Lucent is in negotiations regarding installing mobile and broadband services throughout the network. The move is set to include trains themselves as well as stations, which are already in line to get Wi-Fi access later this year.

Ben Verwaayen, chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent, told the Telegraph that connectivity will be phased in, explaining, “Phase one is that you can communicate under circumstances where today you can’t. You can’t use your iPad today everywhere in the London Underground. You should, so that’s what we’re doing. We help to make sure that the coverage is there. You sit there in the train and you want to work in the train. That’s what we’re doing.”

After this first stage, text and QR code facilities could be introduced which help passengers stay up to date with when their next train is and whether there are any potential disruptions.

Verwaayen added, “We’re going to allow you to sit in the train and think, if I make this connection where could I go? So you make a personal travel plan. That’s the next phase.”

Mr Verwaayen did not comment on how soon the technology will be available or what it might cost but he did say it is “not a hypothetical, it is coming”.

Alcatel-Lucent has estimated that the ability to work whilst travelling on the Tube could boost the economy by over £1 billion.

Wi-Fi is scheduled to be installed at Tube stations soon, following an announcement earlier this year. Wireless broadband access will be available at 80 London stations next month and the roll-out will begin with Oxford Circus, Stratford, Liverpool Street, Leicester Square and King’s Cross.