The London Underground will finally get on par with other major international cities – such as New York, Paris, Berlin, and Seoul – by introducing mobile connectivity to the famous transit system over the next few years.
With the introduction of 4G connectivity, passengers will be able to make calls, send texts, browse the internet and social media, and whatever else they usually do with their phone above ground.
“Our digital connectivity needs to be improved – internet connectivity is now a key public utility, and it is no surprise that some businesses see poor connectivity as a barrier to growth,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. “If we are to remain competitive in the global economy, we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access a fast and reliable digital connection.
“That means working to boost connectivity across London – tackling not-spots, delivering connectivity in the London Underground and working with local authorities to provide digital infrastructure fitting of a global tech hub.”
The upcoming Elizabeth Line will launch with mobile coverage through central London in December 2018, providing continuous phone coverage through tunnels along the line that stretches more than 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. For the other lines, Transport for London and City Hall hope to roll out 4G connectivity by the end of 2019.
“Boosting the city’s connectivity will inevitably deliver significant benefits to people who live and work in London, businesses, and the millions of visitors who pass through each year,” said Billy D'Arcy, UK CEO of BAI Communications, which connected the New York, Hong Kong and Toronto subways.
“It will provide enhanced productivity, increased digital inclusion, and help keep people digitally connected to friends and loved ones. It will also ensure that London keeps pace with other major global cities competing for inward investment.”