Feeds

Huawei to gift underground coverage to London

From one Olympic nation to another

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Huawei is apparently planning to give away the kit necessary to connect up the London tube, with O2 and Vodafone paying for installation the underground could be covered by the Olympics.

The Chinese kit supplier will make money maintaining the systems, and will get a decent foothold in the UK market by supplying the hardware as a loss leader, the Sunday Times revealed yesterday. But it is an expensive way to get into the country, with the network expected to cost around £100m all together.

No contracts have yet been signed, so quite how free the kit will be remains to be seen.

The Financial Times reckons that large discounts are on the table, despite the fact that Huawei is the only supplier still being considered for the scheme. Once in operation, the network – which will carry calls for all the operators – will be maintained by Thales, who will share the job with Huawei.

Getting mobiles operating underground is tough – London's tube network is very deep and very old, lacking the conduits and access pathways (not to mention fire escapes) of more-modern networks, all of which makes mobile coverage extremely difficult to supply.

There is strong feeling that despite the technical issues it would serve London well to have ubiquitous mobile coverage by the Olympics, but to do that a contract will need to be signed in the next month or two. More likely they'll cover the Central and Jubilee lines, on which Olympics-attending tourists are likely to travel, while the rest of us wait patiently to see if Huawei's kind offer extends beyond 2012. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.