Feeds

Tube to get phone coverage by the Olympics

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.