Customers on London Underground will be able to access full mobile connectivity and internet access within every station and tunnel, the Mayor of London has today (22 June) announced
Transport for London has awarded a 20-year concession to BAI Communications (BAI) which will enable mobile coverage on the whole tube network, helping to remove one of the most high-profile mobile ‘not-spots’ in the UK.
The concession will see a backbone of mobile and digital connectivity established across London.
4G mobile coverage has already been introduced on the eastern half of the Jubilee line and will be expanded in phases to ticket halls, platforms and tunnels on the tube network over the next three years, with all stations and tunnels due to have mobile coverage by the end of 2024.
The power of 5G
London’s tube tunnels will also be used to provide full fibre connectivity across the city, which can then be connected to buildings and street assets like street lighting and bus stops.
This will help to further increase mobile coverage through small mobile transmitters, as well as leveraging the power of 5G to deliver city-wide improvements and future growth.
The new high-capacity fibre network will bring fibre directly into London’s neighbourhoods, creating new opportunities to serve homes and businesses with gigabit-capable speeds and supporting digital inclusion.
BAI, who was awarded the concession after a competitive tender process, is a leading global provider of 4G and 5G connected infrastructure.
Once fully delivered, more than 2,000 kilometres of cabling are expected to be installed within tunnels and stations, all of which will be fitted outside of operational hours.
In addition to benefiting customers, providing 4G on the network will generate additional revenue for TfL across the 20-year length of the concession, as well as helping operational teams by providing better connectivity while underground.
To help reduce future disruption, TfL has already begun installing the necessary cabling within a number of stations and tunnels to help reduce the need for additional closures and ensure mobile connectivity can be introduced more easily.
This includes cabling already installed on the Jubilee and Victoria lines, as well as within the Northern Line Extension.
Work will now begin to prepare some of London’s busiest stations for mobile connectivity, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town, ahead of them being some of the first to be connected by the end of 2022.