London Underground set to introduce mobile network

Transport for London – the organization that runs the London Underground – is set to invite bids for an underground mobile network according to a report.

The FT reckons the London Mayor – Sadiq Khan – will formally invite bids for the work after the UK general election next week. Apparently a number of companies are up for the gig, which you would expect. It won’t be cheap, although there’s usually a bit of taxpayer cash to help move things along, but the winner would be in possession of a rare and valuable resource.

In answer to our request for comment TfL said: “We are keen to offer full mobile phone coverage for our customers. The introduction of this would need to be commercially viable and would follow engagement with staff and customers.”

The front runners seem likely to be specialist infrastructure groups who may partner with a kit vendor to build the network then recoup their costs through wholesale charges to operators. Among the anticipated bidders are BAI and Wireless Infrastructure Group.

William Newton, EMEA director at connectivity certifier WiredScore, thinks this is good news. “This is the latest in a number of government and public sector announcements, committing to improving the digital infrastructure of the nation,” he said.

“The Conservative Government announced investments in both 5G and full-fibre in the Digital Strategy and Industrial Strategy, while the Labour Manifesto commits to improving mobile internet and expanding free public wifi in city centres and on public transport. Finally, it is clear that we are approaching connectivity as a cross-party commitment.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.