Passengers travelling to the Olympic Games this summer will be able to use their mobile phones in the Channel Tunnel, with a 2G/3G coverage system to be supplied to Eurotunnel by Alcatel-Lucent.
The system, costing 14 million euro, has become practicable because Eurotunnel is already installing GSM-R2 railway signalling equipment. By choosing the same equipment supplier for both systems, it can ensure compatibility and minimize costs while accelerating the installation.
French network operators Bouygues Telecom, Orange SFR and Free will extend their 2G/3G coverage through the South running tunnel (running France–UK) via a radiating cable and optical repeaters positioned every 750 metres. The North running tunnel (UK–France) will be covered by British operators after the Olympic Games. Almost 20 million passengers use the tunnel each year.