UK telco group VMO2 joins the party of operators piping in 4G and 5G connectivity to the London Underground Network.
As with previous Underground connectivity rollouts by the UK’s operators, its only particular areas of the network that benefit – in this case certain sections of the Central and Northern Lines.
On the Central Line, VMO2 customers can access 4G and 5G services in the tunnels between Queensway and Holland Park. Notting Hill station itself has been upgraded to become a ‘full 5G station’ – which apparently means its available on Central Line platforms and in ticket halls – while 4G services are available at Queensway and Holland Park stations.
on the Northern Line between Kentish Town and Archway 4G and 5G is now available, while 5G is accessible at Archway and Tufnell Park stations, and 4G at Kentish Town station.
The work was done in concert with BAI Communications who has the contract from TFL to pipe in connectivity to the Underground Network from the UK’s operator set.
“For the first time, our customers can access the latest 5G mobile services deep under London,” said Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Media O2. “This is set to revolutionise commuting in the capital, and in the weeks and months ahead we’ll be rolling out ultrafast mobile services at more Tube stations, in tunnels and on platforms to bring high-speed connectivity to our customers as they travel on the Underground. This is part of our commitment to upgrading the UK and ensuring customers can access our network wherever they are.”
Theo Blackwell, London’s Chief Digital Officer added: “It’s great to see 5G mobile connectivity now available at a number of Tube stations, proving that the state-of-the-art technology being installed across the network is already future-proofed and adaptable for the next generation of mobile signal. The Mayor committed to Londoners that we would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network as part of his determination to build a better London for everyone and today marks the latest step forward as we work to improve digital connectivity at home, in our high streets, public spaces and across the transport network.”
VMO2 4G services were made available on the Jubilee Line between Canning Town and Westminster stations back in 2020, so the project doesn’t appear to going at a breakneck speed exactly, but we’re promised that 4G services will be accessible across the entire London Underground network by the end of 2024, with 5G peppered in where infrastructure supports it.
Until then all the operators are only offering services on a few bits of some of the lines. Unless travelers are very interested in what type of signal, if any, they are getting at different stages of their journey, presumably they’ll just crack on with their podcast stream and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t cut out. Or not, depending on where they are going.
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