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London Underground to get full 4G coverage by 2024

Work on delivering mobile connectivity to Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston, and Camden Town has now begun

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that all of the capital’s underground stations and tunnels will benefit from uninterrupted 4G mobile coverage by the end of 2024.

This follows a trial of the service on the Waterloo & City line in the summer of 2017, and phone reception has also been available on the eastern half of the Jubilee line since March 2020. 

Next year, some of the capital’s busiest stations will receive full 4G coverage, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston, and Camden Town, with work on the project beginning today. The expansion will allow commuters to check their emails and Slack notifications while on their way to the office, as many workplaces prepare to reopen for hybrid working.

The infrastructure will also be upgradeable to 5G in the future, with no specific date in place at the moment.

Khan said that protecting employment opportunities and “stimulating” London’s economy “is a top priority (...) as London rebuilds after this pandemic, and investing in London's connectivity and digital infrastructure is central to this”.

“I promised Londoners that if they re-elected me for a second term as Mayor I would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network. It's already up and running on the eastern half of the Jubilee line and I'm delighted to announce today that I am fulfilling that commitment and full internet access will be available across the Tube, with key central London stations such as Oxford Circus and Euston set to benefit before the end of next year,” he added.

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The project will be carried out by London-based telecommunications service provider BAI Communications, which has been awarded a 20-year concession by Transport for London (TfL). The company’s CEO Billy D'Arcy said that the “long-term partnership with TfL will completely transform the passenger experience”.

BAI Communications is also set to invest  £1 billion into establishing “a new city-wide high-capacity fibre network”, which will provide London's homes and businesses with gigabit connectivity, allowing the capital to use 5G and IoT to “unlock new opportunities for technological innovation”.

“By building the most advanced network of its kind in the world here, we are helping London leapfrog other major cities in terms of connectivity and ensure that the capital remains the most attractive place for investment,” he added.

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