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Vodafone UK First to Jump on London Underground 4G Network

Friday, October 25th, 2019 (10:41 am) - Score 6,674

Vodafone UK has become the first UK operator to confirm that they will help Transport for London (TfL) to pilot a new 4G (mobile broadband and voice) network through tunnels and at station platforms on the London Underground (tube trains), which will start with the eastern half of the Jubilee line from March 2020.

The TfL project was first unveiled in July 2019 (here) and aims to make 4G services available across the whole of their London Underground (tube trains) network by the “mid-2020s“; we assume that means completion somewhere around 2024-2026. However at the time they hadn’t yet signed-up any suppliers to support their effort, until now.

Vodafone said that bringing 4G to passengers on the Jubilee line, from North Greenwich to Westminster, will be is a significant undertaking. Overall some 50-100 engineers will work nights for six months to install and test huge amounts of equipment, such as 16,000km of new fibre optic cable. There is also the potential for 5G connectivity in the future. We meant to report this yesterday but the other London story took priority.

Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar matthew

    This seems more important then reporting Khan is using the underground for Fibre Cabling which i can’t see how that is going effect FTTP rollout access.

  2. Avatar Oleg

    it is only one line ?!

    • Avatar Paul.

      It’s a test installation on part of the Jubilee line. Once the problems are found and ironed out it’ll be installed on more lines. It’s all in the article.

  3. Avatar Fabrizio

    I wonder if they’ll co-share with O2 as they have done in the past ?

    • Avatar Z

      This is likely unaffected by the Cornerstone agreement – so they probably won’t share, but I would expect that all 4 operators will be signed up to the program in the coming years.

  4. Avatar Herve Shango

    EE should get involved with Vodafone and O2 to get on all TFL lines

  5. Avatar David Bulloch

    I thought Virgin Media already had WiFi coverage on the London Underground !

    • Avatar chris

      Just Wifi, no mobile, and it doesn’t cover the tunnels.
      This will bring mobile coverage to the tunnels so users, but also more importantly the emergency services can make calls anywhere in the network (eventually
      )

  6. Avatar Mike

    What am i missing. There already is wifi on all london tubes and has been for years now.
    I use it every morning on my commute. All the major providers offer free wifi access on Londons tubes.

    • Avatar Tom

      WiFi is only available on stations and platforms. There’s no mobile coverage. The purpose of this new project is to ensure you have full mobile signal throughout the stations and whilst on the moving trains. This is common in more modern subways around the wall. i.e. You will be able to start a phone call and continue it through the station, on the journey and back out again without losing signal.

  7. Avatar Howard Walker

    Three already had a system to cover the London underground. Download the three App and click on more link. Then select London Underground. Not tried it as I live in God’s own county of Yorkshire, and never venture into the smoke.

    • Avatar chris

      That’s just access to the Wifi virgin media built to cover the platforms. There’s no mobile coverage in subsurface stations, or in the tunnels.

      This will bring 4G coverage in tunnels and platforms for customers but also more importantly, emergency services

  8. Avatar Peter

    I actually don’t know of any other city that doesn’t have signal in their underground tunnels, finally about time, even the Eurostar tunnel had it for years! Crossrail hopefully has this from start?

    • Avatar Z

      Good point, the annoying thing is that each transport authority has to be backed by the mobile operators in order to start rolling out infrastructure. Funnily enough – the euro-star only has EE, O2 and Voda – So no Three yet.

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