4G and 5G-ready mobile coverage is now rolling out at additional Tube stations, including Notting Hill Gate and Queensway.
London Underground customers will soon be able to access high-speed mobile coverage at a further six stations as Transport for London (TfL) and BAI Communications’ (BAI) project to cover the Tube network gathers steam.
Those travelling on the Central line between Holland Park and Queensway will be the first to experience the new 4G and 5G-ready coverage (from December 21st 2022). The coverage will also extend to the Northern line between Kentish Town and Archway in the coming week. This means that customers will be able to access the latest travel information, social media, emails, make calls, and stream videos while on the move underground.
All four mobile network operators – Three UK, EE, Vodafone, and Virgin Media O2 – are participating in the rollout. Customers on EE and Vodafone will have access to the coverage immediately, while those on Three UK and VMO2 will have access throughout the new year.
Connecting these six stations marks the next milestone in the introduction of high-speed mobile coverage across the entire Tube network. Together with the existing 4G service on the eastern section of the Jubilee Line between Westminster and Canning Town, which was made permanent in April 2022, around 10% of the underground stations will have 4G and 5G-ready coverage for customers.
Once completed, the project will involve the installation of over 2,000 kilometres of cabling and thousands of radios in tunnels and stations, all of which will be installed outside of operational hours. A team of around 500 people will be working overnight to install the mobile equipment and ensure that the network is ready for customers every morning.
Further testing was carried out over the festive period at some of London’s busiest stations including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Camden Town. Once live, this will help the millions of visitors to the West End navigate the city, make reservations on the go, and share their experience of London with friends and family.
The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said:
“Today marks a great step forward in the delivery of mobile connectivity on the Tube, as Londoners will now have increased access to high-speed mobile coverage when travelling through more Tube stations. The Mayor pledged to Londoners that he would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network as part of his commitment to building a better London for everyone – and I have no doubt that this expansion of coverage will help transform journeys for millions of passengers.
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said:
“It’s great that we have begun to introduce 4G mobile coverage to more stations, meaning that around ten per cent of our stations that are underground will shortly be connected. Progress on delivery is accelerating and together with BAI Communications and the mobile network operators we will connect many of London’s busiest stations during 2023 – transforming the experience for millions of our customers and helping them stay connected while shopping, visiting events and socialising with friends and family.”
Simon Pitkeathley, Chief Executive of Camden Town Unlimited, said:
“As businesses search for increases in productivity, whilst wrestling with the hybrid world, we need connectivity at all times. This move to bring mobile coverage to the Tube is forward thinking and I, along with many regular Tube users, can’t wait for more stations and tunnels to start getting coverage during 2023.”