London Underground 4G pilot to roll out in March

london underground 4g pilot
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A pilot scheme implementing 4G connectivity on a section of the London Underground is set to begin in March 2020.

Transport for London (TfL), the body responsible for overseeing the capital’s transport networks, has signed an agreement with O2 and other telecommunications providers for a trial implementation of 4G capability along the Jubilee Line between the Westminster and Canning Town stops, to begin in March 2020. If the pilot is successful, TfL hopes to award the contract to extend the scheme throughout the Underground network by the summer of 2020. The Underground, which is notorious as a ‘not-spot’ for mobile phone signal, is used by around five million commuters every day.

O2 Chief Operating Officer Derek McManus said: “This is a fantastic project for O2 to be a part of and shows our relentless commitment to providing our network to our customers, wherever they are. The pilot will allow us to continue working hand in hand with TfL, and other network operators, to bring connectivity to commuters across London. This unique collaboration builds on the recent announcement of the Shared Rural Network, showing how the telecommunications industry is spearheading a more connected, mobile Britain.”

The 4G pilot scheme will see hundreds of miles of cabling installed along the trial route; and forms part of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s commitment to improve connectivity throughout London. The Jubilee line will benefit not only commuters, but also passengers travelling to and from the nearby The O2 arena, which hosts concerts and events with thousands of attendees.

Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “It’s great that O2 have signed up to bring their 4G network to Jubilee line customers. The London Underground network is an incredibly challenging environment in which to deliver technological improvements, but we remain on course for customers to start benefiting from our pilot from March 2020.”

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