Mobile operators EE and Three have agreed a deal to provide high-speed mobile coverage across the whole London Underground network for the first time, including in tunnels.
They have signed up to work with BAI Communications, the infrastructure firm in charge of rolling out mobile connectivity on the Tube, and will give EE and Three customers uninterrupted coverage while on the Underground.
Transport for London (TfL) said the move would see 4G and 5G-ready connectivity reach every station and tunnel across the Underground network by the end of 2024, with some of London’s busiest stations such as Oxford Circus, Bank, Euston and Camden Town being prepared to be some of the first to be connected by the end of next year.
Work is also under way to ensure customers on the forthcoming Elizabeth line can access the connectivity once the line has opened next year, TfL said.
Rolling out 4G on the Tube means millions of Londoners and visitors can stay connected while travelling through tunnels and platforms.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) December 21, 2021
“I’m delighted to see Three and EE sign up as the first operators to provide full high-speed 4G access across the Tube network,” mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said.
“This will make a huge difference to passengers, allowing them to make calls, read emails and check travel information while on the move.
“Investing in London’s connectivity and digital infrastructure is one important way we are helping to stimulate our city’s economy.
“It also represents a significant step towards ensuring the whole Tube network has 5G-ready mobile coverage.”
Three chief executive Robert Finnegan said the move would allow customers to “enjoy smooth streaming, phone calls underground and continued seamless coverage while they travel, even in tunnels”.
Philip Jansen, chief executive of the BT Group, which owns EE, said: “This is huge news for customers and for London, bringing EE’s coverage to previously unreachable parts of the city’s transport system.
“This deal puts BT at the heart of plans to help London digitally leapfrog its rivals and maintain its status as a world-leading destination for tourists and businesses, as well as a home to millions of citizens.
“Our investment in the capital is part of our mission to digitise the entire UK, as we build like fury to expand our fibre and mobile networks further and faster than anyone else.”