Jubilee Line extension gets permanent mobile coverage

The trial of mobile phone coverage on the Jubilee Line extension has ended, but it has been replaced by a permanent network, as part of plans to extend coverage across the London Underground.

The work was carried out by BAI Communications, which last year signed a 20-year commercial contract with TfL to provide mobile phone services. Their first task was to replace and upgrade the temporary test network which covered the tunnels between Westminster and Canning Town on the Jubilee Line with a permanent installation.

This marks the completion of the first stage of BAI’s Connected London project, which saw the handover of all infrastructure as well as the development and refinement of the previous network support model to meet the needs of a permanent commercial service.

Phone coverage arrived in the Jubilee Line extension in March 2020 as part of a two-year trial, with all four major mobile networks signing up for the trial. Three and EE customers are the first to be confirmed to have permanent access to 4G and 5G-ready networks.

Although O2 and Vodafone have not signed up to use the permanent network, their access to the network under trial conditions has been extended until contracts can be signed. Vodafone, which controversially disabled Wi-Fi coverage on the tube early last year, said last December it expected to sign a contract soon. Negotiations are taking longer than expected.

Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL, said: “It’s great that following our successful pilot project over the past two years, BAI Communications is now providing continuous 4G coverage to the eastern section of the Jubilee line. We look forward to coverage being extended to more stations and tunnels in the coming years, which will provide greater connectivity for customers and support London’s economic recovery.

Progress on the project continues with work across London, with work along the Elizabeth line and at Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town all on track to be connected by the end of 2022. All stations and tunnels across the metro should have mobile coverage by the end of 2024.

The delivery of mobile phone coverage on the London Underground has been signed via a concession agreement so that the cost of its installation will be funded by BAI at no cost to TfL, while TfL will also derive revenue from the contract over its lifetime. 20 year life.

Leaky power cable installation (c) TfL

Casey J. Nelson