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ISP BT UK to Trial Wi-Fi on the London Underground Network

Sunday, February 9th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 3,242
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Broadband ISP BT has begun inviting some UK customers of their BT Mobile service to take part in a new London underground Wi-Fi trial, which will start mid-March 2020 and run for approximately 3 weeks. Those taking part will be given one month’s credit for the number they use (applied post-trial and subject to feedback).

The move was perhaps inevitable following EE’s recent deal (here) to join related 4G trials on the underground tube trains with Transport for London (TfL), which is due to begin in March. As if a reminder were needed, parent ISP BT currently has the United Kingdom’s largest single network of WiFi hotspots, including tens of thousands of premium access points and millions of public guest networks via the routers (FON technology) of their existing broadband subscribers.

Separately, we should point out that 260 London underground stations are already covered with WiFi as a result of Virgin Media’s deployment some years ago, which can today also be harnessed by customers of O2, Three UK, EE (BT) and Vodafone. Meanwhile 79 London Overground stations are served by The Cloud (Sky). A WiFi Pass exists for those who aren’t existing members of those networks (here).

Otherwise the newer TfL project aims to make 4G services available across the whole of their London Underground (tube trains) network by the “mid-2020s“, although initially this will only take the form of a limited pilot along the Jubilee Line between Canning Town and Westminster stations (i.e. bug testing before further expansion). Such networks can of course also be harnessed to extend WiFi on-board trains too.

Oddly BT’s private trial announcement makes no mention of any coverage limitations, doesn’t specifically reference on-board connectivity and merely suggests that those who take part “connect to the Wi-Fi when entering a London underground station“, although we assume it will also continue to work on-board trains running the trial route (above) as well.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Bilal khan

    I am a telecom enger in experience in optical fiber. And handle the network issues 4G 5G power technicion in bts..plz give me in this opportunity I am ready for this post

  2. Avatar Gary

    Yay, ISP review has turned into LinkedIN.

  3. Avatar Federal Pacific panel

    I like it.

  4. Avatar Also Philip Jansen

    BT Mobile launched Wi-Fi on the Underground for its Business mobile customers last month. It connects to the ‘EE auto-connect’ network.

    The trial described in this article is for BT Mobile’s Consumer mobile service.

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