Groupe Eurotunnel has equipped the Channel Tunnel connecting UK and France with mobile phone services, under a partnership with British telecom firms Vodafone, EE, O2 UK and the equipment supplier, Alcatel-Lucent.
A ten-year agreement was signed between Groupe Eurotunnel, EE and Vodafone in January this year.
In 2013, Eurotunnel also signed agreements with the French mobile operators, Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR for installation of GSM-P services in the south running tunnel.
The move forms a part of Eurotunnel’s strategy to improve customer service due to rising demand for mobile connectivity.
The services for Vodafone and EE have already commenced, while the services for O2 UK will begin in the near future.
The newly installed fibre-optic GSP-P retransmission system will enable passengers on board Le Shuttle, in addition to high-speed passengers, to use their mobile devices to make calls and use the internet inside the Channel Tunnel.
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The company is employing a fibre-optic distributed antenna system to transmit mobile voice and data signals throughout the tunnel.
The wireless mobile services are being broadcasted from the frontier point, 100m below sea level.
The telecom firms also intend to offer 4G data services throughout the tunnel in the near future.
Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar will also benefit from the investment made by Eurotunnel and the mobile telecoms operators.
Image: Channel Tunnel is a 31.4 mile rail tunnel linking Kent in the UK with Coquelles in northern France. Photo: courtesy of Mortadelo2005.