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November 27, 2017updated 25 Jul 2022 9:10am

TfL to take 4G underground for the Tube in 2019

This huge breakthrough is now in sight, no longer will commuters face pangs of anxiety at seeing their device rendered dumb.

By Tom Ball

TFL has said that 2019 will be the year that 4G signal comes to the underground, one of the few remaining places that dislocate the masses from the connected world.

Transport for London is able to provide the 2019 forecast due to a successful test that was conducted on the Waterloo & City Line, but in the meantime there will be ongoing work to track and fix weak spots.

The initiative will modernise the capital’s globally iconic underground train system, with other countries already ahead on metro system signal. Barcelona, for example, offers free WiFi signal across its network.

TFL to take 4G underground for the Tube in 2019

Proving the widespread nature of the plan, all of the major service providers were involved in the trial run, with TfL planning to select a provider to deliver the service in 2019.

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said: “The success of this trial shows that we are on track to unlock one of the UK’s most high profile not-spots and deliver 4G mobile coverage throughout our tunnels and Tube stations.”

Completing this implementation will be truly ground-breaking, with the use of smartphones and other devices integral in the modern day commuter experience.

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While some will be aware that signal can be available at Tube stations and in certain spots via Virgin, the new development will mean that even while in tunnels the user will have full access to 4G signal.

Commenting on a trial conducted this year, TfL said: “The trial took place during engineering hours and was a success, culminating in a test journey being made by one of our contractors from one end of the line to the other with uninterrupted data coverage… The trial will help to inform our next steps towards a wider public cellular network to allow our customers to check their emails and to read the latest news and social media updates as well as checking for live travel information while underground on the Tube.”

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