Wi-Fi to be rolled out at 120 Tube stations

Wednesday, January 25th 2012
Transport for London has revealed 120 London Underground stations will gain access to Wi-Fi before the Olympics.
Wi-Fi to be rolled out at 120 Tube stations
Wireless broadband access will be rolled out to 120 stations on the London Underground network ahead of the Olympic Games, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

The service will be available to passengers waiting on platforms, but cannot be accessed when travelling from one Tube station to another.

TfL is yet to confirm which provider will be tasked with delivering the technology, with the successful applicant set to be announced in early spring.

According to Mobile magazine, Everything Everywhere, O2 and 3 Mobile are in the running to land the contract, while BT and Virgin Media are battling it out for the right to deploy the required fixed-line broadband infrastructure.

A trial of the London Underground Wi-Fi service was launched at Charing Cross Tube station on November 1st 2011, with BT chosen to lead the pilot scheme.

It is believed the success of this initiative has persuaded TfL to push forward with the deployment across the Tube network.

Gareth Powell, director of strategy and service development at the public transport body, commented: "We are in the final stages of the tender process. London Underground is continuing with preparations to install the necessary infrastructure and is on schedule to complete the project as planned.

"An announcement of the chosen service provider will be made in early spring, leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games."

During the Charing Cross trial, BT's five million broadband subscribers were able to take advantage of the Wi-Fi service for free, while O2, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone and Orange customers with Wi-Fi minutes in their contracts could also use the technology.

Other customers were able to get online via the Charing Cross hotspot by purchasing a BT Openzone voucher.

The pilot scheme was funded through the telecoms giant, at no cost to taxpayers or passengers.

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