London Underground mobile network delayed indefinitely

Plans to install a mobile phone network on the London Underground have been delayed indefinitely, according to a statement from Boris Johnson. The Conservative mayor of London, in a statement to The Guardian, said that "the genuine problems encountered could not be overcome on this occasion."

It remains unclear as to where talks broke down between operators and Transport for London, but a statement from Vodafone shows the mobile giant is still keen to get travelers talking on the tube. "As a group, we will continue to positively explore all other avenues available to us to provide a service at a later date," it said.

TfL has strict goals on how a mobile service would be implemented. "Given the financial pressures on TfL's budgets, any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers," TfL stated. Previously, Huawei made an offer to provide mobile coverage for the tube for free, but privacy concerns, among other factors, made the solution unfeasible. 

Nonetheless, commuters will have the chance to get connected in a smaller way, as TfL plan to fit 120 stations with Wi-Fi access in time for the 2012 Olympics. "Our efforts meanwhile will be focused on guaranteeing a major expansion of Wi-Fi coverage in tube stations in time for the Olympics," it said. Regardless, major cities such as Paris already have mobile access on their underground lines, and TfL are in danger of being perceived as slipping behind if they fail to keep up with technologies available underground in other countries.

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27 Comments

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Be more interested in Free Wi-Fi underground, least this way stops all the ignorant pricks talking stupidly ****ing loud on their phones!

LOGiCALX said,
Be more interested in Free Wi-Fi underground, least this way stops all the ignorant pricks talking stupidly ****ing loud on their phones!
"TfL plan to fit 120 stations with Wi-Fi access in time for the 2012 Olympics."

Maybe they should just drop the idea and put draft taps in the cars and pipe in some good music. We as people isolate our selves enough .. we are supposed to be a social animal.. time to get out and socialize more and get off the damn smart phones. and look at each other instead of a small screen in our palms

Apple-a-Day said,
Maybe they should just drop the idea and put draft taps in the cars and pipe in some good music. We as people isolate our selves enough .. we are supposed to be a social animal.. time to get out and socialize more and get off the damn smart phones. and look at each other instead of a small screen in our palms

Who are you to say what people should be doing and what not?

The same as you to judge me for judging.. is a observation of our society and where we become.. and its called FREEDOM OF SPEECH...

Who are you to say what people should be doing and what not?[/quote]

Apple-a-Day said,
Maybe they should just drop the idea and put draft taps in the cars and pipe in some good music. We as people isolate our selves enough .. we are supposed to be a social animal.. time to get out and socialize more and get off the damn smart phones. and look at each other instead of a small screen in our palms

Why would I want to have music piped into a carriage? It's bad enough with all the iPod idiots with noise escaping from their cheap, crApple ear-buds without having to be subjected to even more unnecessary noise. Why can't people learn to just sit in silence and think so they don't disturb everyone around them?

Apple-a-Day said,
we are supposed to be a social animal.. time to get out and socialize more and get off the damn smart phones.
Uh, people do use those smart phones to socialize. And why is it required to socialize with people you don't know, and will only see for about 5 minutes? What are you going to talk about?

ybrett23 said,
i dont understand what the big hold up is?
in hk on the mtr(underground) the phone signal works fantastic

The underground in London is likely much deeper (and older, therefore windier and more complex) than the one in HK.
I would assume that there must be some genuine technical difficulties, although certainly not insurmountable ones, which make it more expensive to do.

WA7ER said,

The underground in London is likely much deeper (and older, therefore windier and more complex) than the one in HK.
I would assume that there must be some genuine technical difficulties, although certainly not insurmountable ones, which make it more expensive to do.


Moscow is even more deeper, but depth is not a problem at all. You not getting the signal from surface. Signal is transfered under ground by cables. Then, antennas on station and emission cables in tunnels.

Can't they just dangle cat5 cable from the walls of the underground and if you are lucky enough to grab one, you can hop on the internet for 100 metres at a time lol

Last thing you want on a packed tube is someone shouting down the end of a mobile phone- I'm glad this hasn't come to fruition.

astrofaes said,
Last thing you want on a packed tube is someone shouting down the end of a mobile phone- I'm glad this hasn't come to fruition.

See I don't really get this. People are still going to be talking loudly on the tube, does it matter if you can't hear the other half of the conversation?

Mike Brown said,

See I don't really get this. People are still going to be talking loudly on the tube, does it matter if you can't hear the other half of the conversation?

People tend to shout down phones. If two people are standing next to each other it's generally much quieter. And yes, only hearing half the conversation can be quite annoying.

astrofaes said,
Last thing you want on a packed tube is someone shouting down the end of a mobile phone- I'm glad this hasn't come to fruition.

+10000000000000000000000000

The tube is noisy enough as it is without having to listen to the inane nonsense that people talk about when they call someone from a train.

"Hi, I'm on the train now. I'll be home in 30 minutes. What's for dinner?" Just STFU.

Rather than looking for ways to extend mobile coverage, train operators need to look for ways to block mobile coverage. There's no reason why people need to use phones on the train and disturb everyone around them.

Lant said,
I'm glad, I'd much rather they spent the money on improving the service.

+1

Like stopping delays on the friken circle line

Tk1917 said,
Like stopping delays on the friken circle line

And the District line, the amount of time you have to spend sitting at a station sometimes...

Lant said,
I'm glad, I'd much rather they spent the money on improving the service.

+1

I used to have to go on the Victoria Line/Circle Line every other weekend to get from Kings Cross to Tottenham Hale/Liverpool Street and probably 7/10 times either one or both lines were closed for "engineering work." You'd think with all that engineering work the service would improve

Was frustrating and I don't even live there, must be annoying for people who do!

Luckily I drive now and rarely have to bother with them

Lant said,
I'm glad, I'd much rather they spent the money on improving the service.
As it says in the article:
"any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers"
So it wouldn't make a difference anyway.

This was always going to be a problem, it would take a lot of effort and a good bit of cash, to provide coverage in the underground. With no way to gain money on the investment. Not surprising they decided to skip it this time round.

joemailey said,
This was always going to be a problem, it would take a lot of effort and a good bit of cash, to provide coverage in the underground.

Surely it wouldn't cost that much to stick equipment on the trains?
Let's face it, a lot of main line services have this anyway. Have a few booster points at principle stations (start with Zone 1 and work out). It's something TfL (Transport for London) and businesses in the London area should fund, as an improvement to the Underground would benifit everyone.
Although I don't know how the new S-Stock is funded, so whoever is buying that should also look at funding it.

joemailey said,
This was always going to be a problem, it would take a lot of effort and a good bit of cash, to provide coverage in the underground. With no way to gain money on the investment. Not surprising they decided to skip it this time round.

It's cost its money. Moscow have 3 operators with over 90% of coverage on underground stations. One of them, Beeline, have over 80% coverage of tunnels. They wouldn't invest into it if it wouldn't be profitable.