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LU overwhelmed by interest

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More than 60 companies have applied to wire up London's underground network for mobile phone and other whizzy digital services. London Underground (LU) has been so overwhelmed by the response from technology companies it has extend the deadline for companies looking to make a pitch.

In March, Mayor Ken Livingstone announced he was looking for suppliers to install their kit deep underground to enable commuters to use mobiles and wireless laptops at Tube stations. If the plan gets the green light, LU aims to trial the technology next year ahead of a full commercial roll-out in 2008.

Income generated for LU by this venture - which would see commuters tapping into digital radio, digital video broadcasting and wireless Internet, for example - would be reinvested back into the Tube network.

Richard Parry, LU director of strategy & service development, said: "We have received an excellent initial response from the market who have demonstrated considerable interest in providing both mobile phone services and other exciting technologies for LU customers.

"Once the extended deadline for receipt has passed we intend to issue a consultation document to those who have expressed interest so that we can get further information from the market about how we could best provide these services." ®

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