Broadband News

Mobile coverage back on the cards for London Underground

Mobile coverage will be available on the London Underground according to The Telegraph who are reporting that Alcatel-Lucent intends to install a network across the entire tube network which will enable calls and mobile broadband. This is by no means the first announcement that the tube is to get mobile coverage, with various plans and proposals over recent years not coming to fruition. The announcement from Alcatel-Lucent should therefore be taken with a fistful of salt, despite the company declaring that the deal was not hypothetical.

The company says it plans to make it so you can sit and work on the underground trains which could help boost the British economy by £1.1bn.

"Phase one is that you can communicate under circumstances where today you can't. You can't use your iPad today everywhere in the London Underground. You should, so that's what we're doing. We help to make sure that the coverage is there. You sit there in the train and you want to work in the train. That's what we're doing."

"We're going to allow you to sit in the train and think, if I make this connection where could I go? So you make a personal travel plan. That's the next phase."

Ben Verwaayen, (CEO) Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent are already involved in one technological roll-out on the tube which may have given them some insight into the complexities involved. The Virgin Media Wi-Fi network being deployed to over 120 stations is using Alcatel-Lucent equipment which may give the company some advantages in a mobile deployment. So far, six stations have been enabled, including Euston, Green Park, King's Cross St Pancras, Oxford Circus, Victoria and Warren Street.

So far, TfL have denied that they are in talks with Alcatel-Lucent, but if the plans do go ahead, some people may be happy about being able to stay in touch and work whilst on the tube, whilst others may regret the loss of one of the few places where there is a respite from work. Certainly, no one will appreciate people shouting in to their phones over the noise of the wheels grinding against the rails. Mobile coverage becoming ever more prevalent should be expected and this is one more step in-line with increasing technology coverage.


It goes back a long way before the link you provided for the plan to have it there for the 2012 Olympics.

As I remember, it was planned many years back but was vetoed by the then Mayor.

  • mhc
  • over 8 years ago

"no one will appreciate people shouting in to their phones"

Some phone addicts are completely clueless. A few weeks ago at a funeral, a late arrival's phone rings during a quiet moment, he answers (!), and Dom Joly idiot style he says "I'm in the church".

Peace be with you all. Mostly.

  • c_j_
  • over 8 years ago

So... there exists areas of the UK that does not have any mobile coverage by certain mobile carriers, but the idiots must be able to use their phone on the train...

Who was able to work on the London Underground lately? I would like to see what they actually made during this time be ploughed back into the networks, but hey... a tagline saying "could help boost the British economy by £1.1bn" is better than admitting "well actually... that £1.1bn went on top management bonuses, and new headquarters in Spain...

  • vicdupreez
  • over 8 years ago

If you don't want to hear other peasants, don't use public transport.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

LOL... that is my point... I don't live in London, and don't use public transport... This is because public transport is largely unavailable to me... This I have no problem with. I have something in place for that. A fast broadband connection though is a different matter...

  • vicdupreez
  • over 8 years ago

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