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EE and Three to provide mobile coverage across London Tube network

EE and Three deal will see them provide connectivity throughout stations and tunnels for the first time

EE and Three have agreed a deal to provide high-speed mobile coverage across the whole London Underground network for the first time, including in tunnels.

They have signed up to work with BAI Communications, the infrastructure firm in charge of rolling out mobile connectivity on the Tube, and will give EE and Three customers uninterrupted coverage while on the Underground.

The Tube is one of the world’s largest underground networks and providing uninterrupted mobile connectivity will allow customers to check the latest travel information, keep on top of their emails, catch up on social media, live stream videos or make calls wherever they are on the Underground.

Transport for London (TfL) said the move would see 4G and 5G-ready connectivity reach every station and tunnel across the Underground network by the end of 2024, with some of London’s busiest stations such as Oxford Circus, Bank, Euston and Camden Town being prepared to be some of the first to be connected by the end of next year.

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“I’m delighted to see Three and EE sign up as the first operators to provide full high-speed 4G access across the Tube network,” mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said.

“This will make a huge difference to passengers, allowing them to make calls, read emails and check travel information while on the move.

“Investing in London’s connectivity and digital infrastructure is one important way we are helping to stimulate our city’s economy.

“It also represents a significant step towards ensuring the whole Tube network has 5G-ready mobile coverage.”

By partnering with BAI to deliver connectivity to their customers, Three and EE say this will help lead London’s transformation into a truly smart city.

All mobile operators will be able to access the London Underground WiFi, as well as BAI’s neutral host mobile network, which can also be made available to the Emergency Services Network (ESN). The infrastructure will also be 5G-ready, allowing seamless upgrades in the future.

Three chief executive Robert Finnegan said the move would allow customers to “enjoy smooth streaming, phone calls underground and continued seamless coverage while they travel, even in tunnels”.

Philip Jansen, chief executive of the BT Group, which owns EE, said:

“This is huge news for customers and for London, bringing EE’s coverage to previously unreachable parts of the city’s transport system.

“This deal puts BT at the heart of plans to help London digitally leapfrog its rivals and maintain its status as a world-leading destination for tourists and businesses, as well as a home to millions of citizens.

“Our investment in the capital is part of our mission to digitise the entire UK, as we build like fury to expand our fibre and mobile networks further and faster than anyone else.”