Vodafone and EE have signed a deal that will allow passengers to use their mobiles/tablets in the Channel Tunnel. Customers will be able to make calls and use mobile broadband services (at 3G speeds) whilst travelling under the Channel on the 23 mile, 26 minute tunnel journey between Folkestone and Calais.
Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel Tunnel had a network built in 2012 by Alcatel-Lucent in time for the Olympic games and this has been available to French mobile operators and users between France and the UK since then, but a deal for the North tunnel was held up by costs and technical issues. Vodafone and EE will need to invest around £5m in infrastructure to connect to the tunnel network.
"Being connected is such an important part of travelling now and this will be another route we've covered with 4G, making a huge difference to millions of customers who can now make the most of their journey time."Fotis Karonis, (CTO) EE
Customers are expected to be able to use the service from March and 4G services are due to be available from the Summer. This does of course leave out Three and O2 who are said to have a desire to be able to use the service.