The UK’s Transport for London (TfL) has awarded a 20-year concession to Australia-based BAI Communications for supplying high-speed mobile connectivity across London Underground stations and tunnels.

BAI secured the concession after a competitive tender process.

The company claimed that this new network will be the largest and most progressive of its type worldwide.

As part of the project’s first phase, the company will introduce the modern multi-carrier infrastructure, which will be 5G ready, and enable the mobile operators to provide non-stop 4G coverage to passengers immediately.

The project will begin soon and all stations and tunnels will have mobile connectivity in four years.

In addition, a new fibre network throughout the London Underground will also allow service providers to supply full connectivity to premises across the city.

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In a statement, BAI said: “BAI’s partnership with TfL will establish a long-awaited backbone of connectivity with a city-wide integrated communications network delivering multi-carrier cellular, Wi-Fi, and fibre connectivity services.”

The company will not only establish but also operate the network, functioning as a neutral host for fixed and mobile operators.

Furthermore, BAI will create and run critical communications infrastructure that will support police, fire, and ambulance services, making London safer and smarter.

With the resumption of travel, the commuters will be able to move around the city in a safe and efficient manner with the supply of 5G ready connectivity.

The new network will also help in managing station flow and minimising overcrowding while providing real-time information from anywhere.

BAI UK CEO Billy D’Arcy said: “Our extensive credentials delivering large-scale connected infrastructure and networking solutions position us perfectly to support mobile operators to deliver technological innovation and capitalise on the fast-growing commercial appeal of 5G solutions and smart city applications.

“The networks we design and build keep people and communities connected and engaged, as will be the result of TfL’s Connected London programme and BAI’s contribution to it.”