Eurotunnel has signed a €14m contract with French telecoms operators Bouygues Telecom, Orange SFR and Free, to install a mobile phone network on its 53km subsea crossing.
Installation of a 2G (GSM 900,DCS1800) and 3G (UMTS 2100) GSM-P telephone system will allow Le Shuttle and passenger train customers to use mobile phones inside the Channel Tunnel in time for the Olympic Games.
According to the company the installation of this additional mobile telecommunications service has been made possible as it is already in the process of installing the latest version of GSM-R railway signalling equipment.
French Minister responsible for the Digital Economy Eric Besson said: "This agreement means that from now on customers travelling through the Channel Tunnel will be able to use the full range of 2G and 3G mobile communication services."
The project also includes Alcatel-Lucent's in-tunnel coverage solution which uses next generation radiating cables which can withstand harsh environmental conditions in the tunnel, including mist and salt water, to ensure no breaks to service.
Alcatel-Lucent is working with Eurotunnel to make it possible for travellers to access GSM and 3G mobile broadband services in the Eurotunnel with the deployment of a GSM-Public (GSM-P) telephone system.
The French operators will provide an extension of their 2G and 3G coverage through the south-running tunnel via a radiating cable and repeaters positioned every 750m, while the north-running tunnel will be covered by the UK operators after the Olympic Games.
Eurotunnel chairman and chief executive officer Jacques Gounon said: "Eurotunnel, the vital link between the UK and France, is proud to commit to this investment which will enable the connection of peoples, nations and cultures in this time of instant communications."