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London Underground Wi-Fi pusher to be announced in spring

Tube's wireless delivered in time for 2012 Olympics

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Transport for London (TfL) is in the final stages of the tender process for the supply of Wi-Fi to up to 120 of its underground stations.

The announcement of the chosen bidder had been scheduled for the end of 2011, but is now expected in early spring.

Gareth Powell, director of strategy and service development, said: "London Underground is continuing with preparations to install the necessary infrastructure and is on schedule to complete the project as planned."

Powell added the contract will be in place "leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games".

According to a TfL tender document, the Wi-Fi supplier will host and operate a portal for the London Underground Wi-Fi service to provide media rich content free of charge, likely to include real-time travel information, news, sports and entertainment.

Other data services and links to external sites may be subject to a subscription fee, and the supplier will manage all aspects of this service, including billing users.

The contract is expected to last for five years, but could be extended.

The Wi-Fi service will allow commuters to access the internet in deep underground stations, but will not be available on tube trains themselves.

Trials of Wi-Fi access began at Charing Cross underground station in November 2010 to test the service and the reaction of passengers over several months.

According to the tender document, the provider will host and operate a portal for the London Underground Wi-Fi to provide media rich content free of charge. This is likely to include real-time travel information, news, sports and entertainment.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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