Transport for London (TfL) is to launch a tender for a service provider to deliver 4G mobile coverage on the Tube from 2019 next year.

A summer trial in tunnels on the Waterloo and City lines showed the potential to address one of the country’s most high-profile signal block spots, according to TfL.

All four of the UK’s major mobile network operators: Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, participated in the design of the trial, with Vodafone and O2 carrying out testing within the tunnels outside of customer hours.

The trial also allowed TfL to practice laying new fibre cables within stations and tunnels, which will be crucial for other elements of TfL’s wider digital connectivity strategy. The trial equipment has since been removed.

O2’s chief operating officer Derek McManus said: “The demand for ubiquitous, fast mobile connectivity is unquestionable.

“People expect to have connectivity wherever and whenever they are and, by increasing connectivity on the Tube, people will be able to get more out of their journey time.

“Trials such as these are vital in laying the foundations for customers, especially commuters, to have seamless connectivity on the go.”


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