Transport for London (TfL) has continued its project to bring 4G and 5G mobile coverage to its underground Tube network, with coverage coming online in stations in the West End area for the first time as the mayor lays out the next phase of the plan.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan set out the city’s plan to bring high-speed mobile coverage to more of its underground network, with 33 stations expected to be covered by the end of the year and over 40 by early 2024.
Khan said: “I am delighted to see the promise I made of delivering 4G and 5G across the London Underground continuing to progress, with West End hubs Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road joining an ever-growing network of lines and stations with full connectivity.”
Coverage across the Tube network is being delivered by Boldyn Networks, previously BAI Communications, as part of a 20-year telecoms concession under TfL’s Connected London project and is supported by the UK’s four mobile network operators, Three UK, EE, Vodafone and Virgin Media O2.
Currently, the rollout of mobile coverage has reached just over 10% (18) of the 121 underground Tube stations, just under half of the network’s stations, across the Central, Northern and Jubilee lines.
When including the network’s above ground stations, TfL says it is expecting roughly 80% of stations, or 215-220 out of 272, to be covered by high-speed coverage by the end of 2024.
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Plans are also already in place to include more stations on those lines in the coming weeks and months and Khan also confirmed that some stations on the Elizabeth Line would also be included by the end of the year, with testing set to begin on the Bakerloo, Victoria and Picadilly lines ready to bring them online at the end of this year.
Boldyn Networks has also agreed to a deal with TfL to extend 5G coverage to the Docklands Light Railway and the London Overground between Highbury & Islington and New Cross.
Billy D’Arcy, CEO of Boldyn in the UK and Ireland, said: “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and our valued partners, the Mayor of London and TfL.
“We are excited to bring cutting-edge 4G and 5G connectivity to the entire Tube network, empowering millions of commuters and tourists to stay connected while travelling through these iconic stations.”
Alongside improving connectivity for passengers, the network’s mobile coverage will eventually host the new Emergency Services Network to provide real-time data and images to first responders in emergency situations.
Boldyn’s deal to include the London Overground comes shortly after TfL agreed to a two-year contract extension for Arriva Rail London to continue operating the trains on the network through May 2026.