Press release from TfL: https://tfl-newsroom.prgloo.com/new...-tube-network-as-concession-partner-announced
Customers on London Underground will be able to access full mobile connectivity and internet access within every station and tunnel, the Mayor of London has today announced.
- High speed mobile coverage will be delivered across London Underground alongside a new full-fibre network to provide London’s homes and businesses with faster internet and better connectivity
- The technology, delivered by BAI Communications, will support 4G and 5G rollout and will be the most advanced of its kind in the world, helping to support London’s economic growth
- Work is now underway across the Tube network, with first stations – including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, Bank and Camden Town – going live by the end of 2022
- This follows successful rollout of 4G on the eastern half of the Jubilee line, which customers have been able to use since March last year
- Agreement with BAI will provide a long-term revenue stream, which will be reinvested in transport improvements across the capital
Transport for London (TfL) has awarded a 20-year concession to BAI Communications (BAI) which will enable mobile coverage on the whole Tube network, helping to remove one of the most high-profile mobile 'not-spots' in the UK.
The concession will see a backbone of mobile and digital connectivity established across London. Uninterrupted 4G mobile coverage has already been introduced on the eastern half of the Jubilee line and will be expanded in phases to ticket halls, platforms and tunnels on the Tube network over the next three years, with all stations and tunnels due to have mobile coverage by the end of 2024. This will allow customers to check the latest travel information, keep on top of their emails and the latest news, catch up on social media, watch videos or make calls throughout their journeys.
London’s Tube tunnels will also be used to provide full fibre connectivity across the city, which can then be connected to buildings and street assets like street lighting and bus stops. This will help to further increase mobile coverage through small mobile transmitters, as well as leveraging the power of 5G to deliver city-wide improvements and future growth. The new high-capacity fibre network will bring fibre directly into London's neighbourhoods, creating new opportunities to serve homes and businesses with gigabit-capable speeds and supporting digital inclusion.
BAI, who was awarded the concession after a competitive tender process, is a leading global provider of 4G and 5G connected infrastructure. The agreement will build on BAI’s significant experience of deploying communications networks in highly dense urban environments across the world, including New York, Toronto and Hong Kong. The neutral host network being delivered as part of this concession will be the most advanced network of its kind in the world and available for use by all mobile operators. The infrastructure will also be 5G ready, allowing for a seamless upgrade for mobile operators in the future.
The London Underground network is one of the world's largest underground networks and prior to the pandemic was used by more than five million passengers a day. Once fully delivered, more than 2,000 kilometres of cabling are expected to be installed within tunnels and stations, all of which will be fitted outside of operational hours. In addition to benefiting customers, providing 4G on the network will generate additional revenue for TfL across the 20-year length of the concession, as well as helping operational teams by providing better connectivity while underground.
To help reduce future disruption, TfL has already begun installing the necessary cabling within a number of stations and tunnels to help reduce the need for additional closures and ensure mobile connectivity can be introduced more easily. This includes cabling already installed on the Jubilee and Victoria lines, as well as within the Northern Line Extension. Work will now begin to prepare some of London’s busiest stations for mobile connectivity, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town, ahead of them being some of the first to be connected by the end of 2022.