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Going Underground? Forget the mobile

You really are alone down there

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A widely circulated and wide off the mark email has prompted London Underground to warn travellers that “No, mobiles phones really don't work underground”.

An email has been doing the rounds since the recent bomb attacks in London claiming that people trapped in the tube’s underground tunnels can contact emergency services by dialling 112.

The email claims this will put them through to a satellite link that would route through to 999, the UK’s emergency service number. It also claims dialling this number would give emergency services a “trace” on where the caller was.

Nice idea in these scary times. But sadly, complete hogwash.

Transport for London said yesterday that 112 - the European equivalent of 999 - will indeed put you through to emergency services but only if you have a regular mobile signal in the first place. “If you have no signal bars on your phone, it will not work.”

Even if you did have a satellite phone, LU warn, you need a direct line of sight to the satellite, meaning, “You would have to be outside, not in a building or a tube tunnel.” That's right, think open air - not 200ft under Hampstead High Street.

So there you have it. Once you’ve in the bowels of London, turn the Nokia off and hold on to that rabbit's foot, four leaf clover or a favourite pair of lucky underpants. Preferably your own.®

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