Feeds

Tube to get phone coverage by the Olympics

But are you happy to listen to annoying jibber-jabber pay for it?

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

London's tube network will become mobile-friendly by next year, according to Mobile Magazine, which reckons a contract is only weeks away. London taxes will be subsidising this contract.

That contract is said to be worth £150m, which will be spent by the network operators to provide both 2G and 3G coverage to the entire network, including between stations, but the annual running costs will need public money to make the project worthwhile, the quantity of which remains a sticking point.

Mobile Magazine reports that Thales and Huawei are up for keeping the system running, but details about who will pay and how much they will pay are still the subject of debate.

Connecting up London's tube network is technically very difficult - the depth of the tunnels makes signal propagation limited, and their girth (only marginally larger than the trains that fit though them, unlike other networks that frequently have a walkway beside the trains) makes fitting and maintenance expensive. There's also the question of what return operators can expect from their investment.

In the past there has been talk of connecting up station platforms for voice communications at least, which would be technically easier and have an obvious revenue stream, but on the trains themselves voice calls would be impossible when the network is busy, and hampered by the noise of the train any other time. More useful is data connectivity, for those Kindle-touting commuters - there isn't space for an iPad during rush hour, but one can generally manage a paperback book or electronic equivalent.

But that's not going to bring in any immediate revenue for the network operators, and if (as Mobile Magazine reports) all the UK operators are involved then there's no advertising opportunity either - so why bother doing it?

Boris, mayor of London, would like to see it happen and is apparently prepared to stump up an annual management fee to make it so, which is nice for those who want to scream "I'm on the tube", but less nice for the rest of us who'll end up paying for them to do so. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.