Thursday, 15 May 2008

Tube mobile phone trials postponed

A year ago TfL announced they wanted to try out providing mobile phone coverage underground, with a test installation on the Waterloo & City Line from "April 2008 at the earliest". Nothing's been heard since, and I've been wondering if it's still on.

This blog post today claims the trial is still going to happen but has been delayed due to lack of agreement between parties. Obviously their source could be making it up or entirely imaginary, but it's interesting to hear something about it.

It's worth noting several metro systems already have underground coverage, such as those in Paris, Honk Kong and Singapore, so technologically this isn't a new challenge.

13 comments:

peezedtee said...

The Brussels metro has had mobile phone access throughout for donkeys' years. Mind you, that is all cut-and-cover, so maybe it is easier than for deep-level tubes.

It is a definitely a double-edged sword - can be useful, but very irritating when used by loud idiots.

sasa said...

Paris only has it because it is close to the surface (cut-and cover). I don't think there is any dedicated phone coverage in Paris at all.

One place there is dedicated coverage - and it's in London - is on the Heathrow Express! On the trains and at the stations.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Tyne and Wear metro has also had coverage in it's deep tube sections for a couple of years now.

THC said...

The BART in northern California has mobile access throughout, even on the deep-level tubes beneath SF Bay. I know because I had great fun calling friends in London whilst on holiday there and, when asked where I was, responding "deep under San Francisco Bay".

Maybe I need to get out more...

THC

Mark said...

Still time to do as Dara suggests then: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=45_78QdTdjM

laucala said...

I was in Copenhagen at the weekend; their metro is relatively new (2002-2007) and deep, and has a full signal in the (driverless) trains.

NoiseLevelCommando said...

Budapest metro system in Hungary is in deep-level tube as well, and there has been mobile coverage for more than five years.

That's why I was quite surprised when I moved to London in 2006, and I found no coverage at all.

Andrew said...

Maybe if they can figure out a way of slapping a hefty surcharge onto the phone bill of anyone using their phone in the Tube, it may speed things up. It's amazing how quickly difficulties evaporate when there's an obscene profit to be made.

mim said...

The Madrid Metro also has fully functional mobile reception at various deep and shallow levels, although it is interesting to note that very few people seem to actually use phones underground compared to how many do on buses and Cercanias (local) trains.

stuart said...

Paris does not only have coverage because it is cut and cover, if that were the case my phone would work at Euston Square. They have systems set up. I was in Hong Kong 5 or 6 years ago and lifts in large buildings had little stickers saying which network worked in that lift... It is entirely the choice of TFL not to have mobile coverage

D-Notice said...

Apparently it's been scrapped...

Vincent said...

There IS a dedicated phone coverage on the Paris metro.

It is still being fitted though, so it might not yet work everywhere.

Anonymous said...

"several metro systems have coverage"

??

Pretty much EVERY other metro system in the world has coverage. Moscow, Kiev, Beijing, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Singapore, Budapest, Prague, Shanghai.... London is embarrassingly lacking here. The 'reasons' are baffling.