Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

London Underground to get 4G coverage in tunnels from 2019

London Underground to get 4G coverage in tunnels from 2019

Currently, customers can not make calls while on an underground train in London.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to bring full 4G network coverage to the London Underground, meaning passengers can call, text, Instagram, Snapchat and more on their phones whilst travelling beneath the capital.

"Boosting the city's connectivity will inevitably deliver significant benefits to people who live and work in London, businesses, and the millions of visitors who pass through each year", said Billy D'Arcy, UK CEO of BAI Communications, which connected the New York, Hong Kong and Toronto subways.

Khan's plans mean fewer dark spots and no more suffering with connection dropouts on the underground as you jump between stations and desperately stab the Wi-Fi logo in hope of connecting again before the train starts moving.

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With a growing technology sector including over 40,000 digital technology businesses employing nearly 200,000 people, London is regarded as Europe's leading technology hub. The event will provide local authorities with the opportunity to apply for the government's Digital Infrastructure Funding programme.

Finally, the Mayor's office has also committed to putting on a Digital Connectivity Funding Forum at City Hall.

Underground stations already offer WiFi but is only available for free to customers on certain networks and does not cover the tunnels between stations.

"Our digital connectivity needs to be improved", he said. TfL will issue a formal notice to the industry seeking feedback on how best to use its assets and improve connectivity, while monetising partners' efforts. It has 40,000 digital tech businesses including thriving start-ups and global giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google, yet Londoners are still experiencing poor connectivity at home, at work and on the move, the mayor said in a statement. It's all part of a bit push to eliminate "not spots" in London and turn us into a world-class, digitally connected city.

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