Wi-Fi networks promised for 120 Tube stations
London Underground says it will equip 120 of its stations with Wi-Fi in time for the Olympics, but the network’s tunnels will remain reception black holes.
According to Tube bosses, LU has invited tenders for the service, which it wants to be up and running by next June, with platforms and public spaces expected to be equipped.
The move follows an apparently successful trial at Charing Cross Tube station, which Tube chiefs said tested how the service worked and gauged consumer reactions.
Half of Charing Cross passengers surveyed said Wi-Fi would make their journeys better, LU said.
“The rollout of Wi-Fi technology across the platforms and public areas of our Tube stations will finally allow Londoners to use mobile devices to pick up their emails, access social media sites and stay in touch with the world above while they traverse our subterranean transport network,” said Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has long championed public Wi-Fi services.
The trial provided access to commuters via BT OpenZone Wi-Fi, but it is unclear how the new services would be charged.
Transport for London said the services were a potential future revenue source for LU, and stressed the project would be paid for by the network provision companies, with no public money allocated.
As part of wider Wi-Fi plans, Transport for London said the tendering process would also ask operators for details on how they would create a Wi-Fi network at street level to cover areas such as bus shelters and hubs.