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TFL Confirms Plan for WiFi Internet Access at 120 London UK Tube Stations by 2012

Posted: 26th Mar, 2011 By: MarkJ
London wi-fiuk east midlands trains wi-fi internetTransport for London (TFL) has announced fresh plans to blanket most of the 120 London Underground train and tube stations with broadband wireless ( Wi-Fi ) internet access by June 2012. The effort follows last year's successful BT Openzone trial at the Charing Cross Tube Station (here).

As a result of the trial, which was apparently "met with enthusiasm by passengers", TFL has now opened up a tender process and invited telecoms companies to bid for the deployment contract, which will be awarded to the chosen bidder by the end of 2011. Meanwhile the Charing Cross Tube Station trial will continue for several more months as planned (6 months in length and started in November 2010).

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said:

"The roll out of wi-fi technology across the platforms and public areas of our Tube stations will finally allow Londoners to use mobile devices to pick up their emails, access social media sites and stay in touch with the world above while they traverse our subterranean transport network.

We are inviting companies to bid to do this before next June, which would mean that even Londoners going underground will be able to keep up to date with the British medal tally at the 2012 [Olympic] Games."

It's understood that the first phase of deployment on the Tube would be to make available the service currently used by London Underground (LU) staff at 16 stations for passenger use, and then to work to expand this service to other Underground stations.

Research from Charing Cross Tube station found that over half of LU passengers surveyed felt that access to Wi-Fi would make their experience of using the Tube better. The new service is also seen as another potential future revenue source. However the tender itself only covers stations and not the trains themselves, which is a matter for their owners.

TFL and the Mayor of London are also in discussion with mobile phone operators and other suppliers about the potential provision of mobile phone services on the deep tube network.
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