Aug 10, 2017
No more excuses! London Underground will have full 4G coverage by 2019 says Mayor Sadiq Khan
In an attempt to catch up with the more 4G-friendly cities such as Tokyo, New York and Paris, mayor Sadiq Khan announced that he wants to eliminate the London's connectivity 'not-spots' and give Londoners free 4G access while on the underground within two years.
The move was welcomed by business leaders who said London lags behind its rivals in terms of connectivity.
However, considering 5G could be rolled out in the coming years, for people looking for an excuse not to be contacted there will soon be nowhere to hide. Mr Khan unveiled his proposals in a letter to London's 33 local authorities.
According to Evening Standard, he wrote that he would be "delivering 4G mobile connectivity to London Underground, both in station and tunnels from 2019, future-proofed ready for 5G".
"The first trail is expected on the Waterloo & City line with initial tests at night and at the weekends", sources suggest.
David Leam, an infrastructure director at lobby group London First, told Evening Standard that "business needs fast and reliable connections across our capital – in the office, for people working from home and when they're on the move".
"We should be making the most of existing infrastructure, including the London Underground network, to boost speeds and deliver coverage to areas that have been left behind", he said. Although wi-fi is already available on most platforms on the London Underground, unfortunately the service currently cuts out between stations.
According to reports in the Financial Times in May three people familiar with the plans to get mobile coverage on the tube said that a "number of companies were vying for the work". Speaking to the site, a spokesman for TfL said: "We are keen to offer full mobile phone coverage for our customers."
"The introduction of this would need to be commercially viable and would follow engagement with staff and customers."
Commuters on the tube already have a reputation for being grumpy, so it remains to be seen how introducing phone calls will be taken.
The move is part of a wider pledge by the mayor to improve London's communications and build a reputation as a high-tech city.