Passengers on the London Underground will have mobile coverage throughout the network by the end of 2024, the mayor of London has said.
Transport for London (TfL) said work on preparing some of the capital’s busiest stations—including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, and Bank—will begin soon, and they will be among the first fully connected stations by the end of next year.
TfL has awarded a 20-year concession to BAI Communications (BAI), a global provider of 4G and 5G connected infrastructure, to counter so-called not-spots in the network.
Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was reelected last month, said, “I promised Londoners that if they reelected me for a second term as mayor I would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network.”
Permanent phone reception was made available on underground sections of London’s Tube network for the first time in March last year when the eastern half of the Jubilee line was covered.
Mobile coverage on underground sections of the Tube had only previously been available in a short trial on the Waterloo and City line during summer 2017.
Khan added, “It’s already up and running on the eastern half of the Jubilee line and I’m delighted to announced today that I am fulfilling that commitment and full Internet access will be available across the Tube, with key central London stations such as Oxford Circus and Euston set to benefit before the end of next year.”
Camden Town and Euston are the other stations which will be among the first tranche to be connected.
Shashi Verma, chief technology officer at TfL, said: “London Underground was born in the 19th century, and this concession to deliver mobile coverage to the whole Tube network ensures it continues to adapt for customers in the 21st century.
“Providing mobile connectivity to customers within the tunnels and on platforms across London will help them stay connected more easily, and will both provide a long-term revenue stream for TfL and support economic growth across the city.”
By Alexander Britton