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Tube 4G and WiFi contributed to closure of Evening Standard print edition

Staff Reporter
May 30, 2024

The Evening Standard has blamed 4G coverage on London Underground for one of the reasons the newspaper has axed its daily print edition after 197 years and losses of £87.5 million since 2019.

An email to staff from the newspaper’s chair Paul Kanareck on Wednesday said the proliferation of home working, and the availability of WiFi and 4G on the Tube had caused a collapse in circulation from 600,000 to 275,000 copies dispensed mainly outside Tube stations since 2019.

WiFi and 4G on the Tube partly responsible for collapse in Evening Standard circulation

A proposed weekly newspaper is planned to replace the daily edition.

Vodafone shut off its wi-fi service on London Underground three years ago because it said not enough people were using the service originally launched in 2012. Vodafone reinstated the service a year ago “due to customer demand”.

Ironically, Evening Standard was a main media supporter of London mayor Sadiq Khan who pushed for a widespread 4G service on the Underground that has now contributed to the demise of the paper. Mobile coverage will exted tp all London Underground, by the end of the year as well as the Elizabeth line, with 5G at the vast majority of locations.

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