Feeds

Hello? You'll never guess where I am ... I'm under a ferry

Channel Tunnel mobile coverage touted

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Channel Tunnel passengers will be able to continue chatting unabated while being whisked along 45 metres below the seabed, just in time for the 2012 Olympics.

That’s according to The Telegraph. Eurotunnel wonks aren't confirming anything until the official announcement which, we understand, will come tomorrow from the French Ministry. But it looks as though international travellers will be able to make calls from underground before domestic ones.

Connecting up the Channel Tunnel isn't as hard as it sounds: it's only 31 miles long and there's an access tunnel between the two rail lines which has plenty of room for backhaul connectivity. The problems are more logistical than technical - who runs the network, who is roaming and when, and how to avoid the network interfering with domestic providers on either side of the Dover Strait, but those can be resolved if anyone cares enough.

Which they haven't really. Travellers are only underground for around 20 minutes or so, and many of them never get out of their cars (which are driven onto wagons) so it's no great hardship to be momentarily disconnected. The decision clearly has more to do with publicity than practicality - Eurotunnel wants to highlight how much better it is than the airlines, which still make passengers turn off their phones.

The Telegraph sniffily notes that the French have mobile coverage on the Paris Metro, and that the English aren't polite enough to be trusted with the ability to use mobile phones on mass transport, though in fact it's the age and depth of London's tube that makes deployment so difficult.

So tomorrow there'll be a proper press release, probably accompanied by photographs of a (no doubt very polite) French politician making a call from deep under the sea bed - until then we'll have to speculate that such calls will be overpriced, leading to the service being underused. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
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.