British mobile service providers Three and EE are the first networks to reach an agreement on 4G and 5G coverage across the entire London Underground. The carriers have reached an agreement with infrastructure provider BAI Communications, which is currently building a network through the tube as part of a 20-year concession with Transport for London. Three’s and EE deal will allow customers to access mobile data within the terminals and while they are on the tube.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement:
“I am delighted to see Three and EE sign up as the first operators to offer full high-speed 4G access over the tube network. This will make a huge difference to passengers, allowing them to make calls, read emails and check travel information on the go. The investment in London Connection and infrastructure is Digital is an important way we are helping to stimulate our city’s economy. It is also an important step towards ensuring full mobile coverage of the 5G network.”
The London Underground has offered WiFi connectivity for nearly a decade, but it’s only available to customers of certain carriers on certain platforms. Earlier this year, Transport for London chose BAI Communications to build a mobile network covering all stations and tunnels, allowing passengers to check emails, watch videos and do everything else online over 4G or 5G even while inside metal tubes under the earth.
BAI has already started building the network at some of London’s busiest stations, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town. They will be the first to allow 4G and 5G connectivity by the end of 2022. City authorities expect the network to be complete and the London Underground to have mobile coverage by the end of 2024.
All products recommended by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial team, independently of the parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.