Following a successful trial during the summer on the Waterloo and City line, TfL is sticking to its promise to begin rolling out full 4G coverage on the London Underground network from 2019.
TfL 4G trial
The trial, which included design input from UK mobile operators Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, saw a phone call being made from one station to another without dropping reception.
The trial was carried out outside customer hours. This no doubt cut down on any crosstalk. Furthermore, it also allowed TfL to have time practicing and figuring how best to lay fibre cables.
All test equipment and fibre cables from the trial have since been removed from stations and tunnels. To me this indicates that, when the time comes, it will be the latest equipment being used when the plans kick into action.
Tendering to find a service provider to take on the contract will go out in the New Year.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged back in August that the Underground would catch up with the likes of Paris, Tokyo and New York and offer full mobile coverage throughout the tube network. This is great news for those who aren’t able to wait for the Wi-Fi available at most stations.
When 4G installed you’ll be able to call, message, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat without signal dropouts. That even goes for when you’re in tunnels.
Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said:
The success of this trial shows that we are on track to unlock one of the UK’s most high profile not-spots and deliver 4G mobile coverage throughout our tunnels and Tube stations.
This is great news for our customers and will also help us generate vital commercial income to reinvest in modernising and improving transport in London.”
London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said:
This is a brilliant initiative and part of our work to improve connectivity at home, in our high streets, public spaces and across the transport network. TfL’s innovation shows we can make a real difference and benefit Londoners through using city-wide public assets in a smarter way, starting with the Tube.”