EE and Vodafone offer Channel Tunnel network coverage

UK operators EE and Vodafone have signed ten- year contracts with the group that operates the Channel Tunnel transport network, Eurotunnel. The agreements will enable both operators’ subscribers to use 2G and 3G services while travelling on the rail line 100m below sea level. The service will begin in March 2014.

Eurotunnel said it also held talks with O2 and 3UK  but is yet to reach an agreement with either operator.

Vodafone and EE will offer services to customers travelling from the UK to France. Upon disembarking in France subscribers must then rely on roaming services. UK subscribers must also use roaming services on the return journey, as Eurotunnel struck similar agreements with French operators, Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR for the South running tunnel in 2012.

Both EE and Vodafone plan to offer LTE services on the route; EE said it expects to cover the route with LTE connectivity by summer 2014.

“It’s another technology first for EE, and it’s one that will make a big difference to business workers and people going away on holiday,” said EE CTO Fotis Karonis. “Being connected is such an important part of travelling now and this will be another route we’ve covered with 4G, making a huge difference to millions of customers who can now make the most of their journey time.”

20 million passengers travel through the tunnel each year, according to Eurotunnel. Trains are in the tunnel itself for around half an hour of the journey.

The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

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