The rollout of full 4G coverage on the London Underground is being supported by BAI Communications
The introduction of a connected 4G cellular network on the London Underground will enable the UK to catch up with other major cities with connectivity on public transport.
That is according to BAI Communications director of solutions, innovation and technology Andrew Conway.
BAI Communications is the firm tasked with providing the infrastructure for a 4G service across the London Underground by 2024.
A connected 5G service will also follow in the coming years.
The global communications infrastructure provider secured a 20-year deal to support the rollout of the service and fund, build and operate the infrastructure, while working with Transport for London (TfL) and the mobile network operators.
Unlike some major cities where an uninterrupted mobile signal on the respective train system is normal, London has typically lagged behind.
Speaking to Mobile News Conway said: “The London Underground is so iconic as one of the first underground systems in the world, but it’s also very old in large parts. This has made it a difficult engineering challenge as a result of this compared to some of the more modern transport systems in place in other cities around the world. A lot of it is down to the age of the system.
“But that doesn’t mean to say Londoners shouldn’t be connected, as I think people expect it now. For better or worse, people are wedded to these devices because they use them so much.”
Through the 4G service passengers will be able to benefit from being about to access emails or documents through the cloud uninterrupted, or keep entertained via social media or streaming services.
Talking about the project in more detail, Conway adds that work is well underway to get the Underground connected.
“Every night we’ve got hundreds of people manually taking the cables down the escalators and installing it.
“We’ve got very narrow engineering hours as the tube service runs for most of the day, so it limits the amount that can be done at any given time, but work is well under way.”