Three and EE deliver connectivity across entire London Underground
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Man using mobile phone on Underground train Three and EE users can now access mobile connectivity across the whole of one of the world’s largest underground networks (credit: BAI)

Leading mobile network operators Three UK and EE have agreed a deal with BAI Communications and Transport for London (TfL) to provide high-speed mobile connectivity across the whole London Underground network for the first time.

All ticket halls, platforms and tunnels across the current Tube network will have 4G and 5G-ready mobile coverage as a result of the deal, with coverage on platforms and in tunnels on the Elizabeth Line on track to go live next year.

The deal between the two networks and BAI, which was awarded a 20-year concession with TfL to deliver mobile connectivity on the Underground earlier this year, will give customers on the networks access to uninterrupted coverage whilst on the Tube and within stations.

Alongside Three and EE’s commitment, BAI said that all mobile operators will be able to access the London Underground Wi-Fi, as well as BAI’s neutral host mobile network, which can also be made available to the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted to see Three and EE sign up as the first operators to provide full high-speed 4G access across the Tube network. This will make a huge difference to passengers, allowing them to make calls, read emails and check travel information while on the move. Investing in London’s connectivity and digital infrastructure is one important way we are helping to stimulate our city’s economy. It also represents a significant step towards ensuring the whole tube network has 5G-ready mobile coverage.”

BAI has pledged to invest more than £1bn across its Connected London programme, which will also feature a full-fibre network that will connect to buildings and street assets, like traffic lights and lamp-posts that house small mobile transmitter cells to leverage the power of 5G and the Internet of Things. BAI has already begun work at stations including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town as part of its commitment to have the first group of stations with uninterrupted mobile coverage by the end of 2022.

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI Communications UK, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Three and EE as our launch partners and the first operators who will be transforming customer experience on the London Underground by enabling them to access seamless, 5G-ready connectivity.

“This is an important next step on the project’s journey which will allow passengers to move around the capital more smartly, safely, and securely. More broadly, the new backbone of connectivity will create a platform for innovation and allow London’s residents and businesses to harness smart city technology, helping to improve urban life and boost the economy.”

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