Mayor of London makes tube 4G coverage pledge ahead of election

Mayor of London-SADIQ KHAN 4G coverage pledge ahead of the election.

Sadiq Khan wants to provide underground 4G coverage. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has promised to extend mobile coverage to the London Underground. If re-elected in May, anticipating that efforts to increase connection with the capital could boost its post-Covid recovery.

Although Virgin Media has had a public Wi-Fi network with stations since 2012, prior attempts to deliver a mobile signal to London’s subterranean railway network have failed to gain traction.

Former Mayor Boris Johnson stated that mobile coverage would be available by 2012. His predecessor Ken Livingstone requested pitches from the industry in 2005. Transport for London (TfL) set a new goal of having full coverage by 2019.

Sadiq Khan 4G Tube mobile coverage:

Given the intricacies of the operation, one of the most significant impediments to deployment has been the difficulty in selecting who would build and operate the essential infrastructure.

The expense of developing the capabilities would be enormous. The economic argument would undercut by the inability of operators to pass the costs on to customers.

There has been significant development in recent years: 4G connectivity testing on the Jubilee Line has taken place. Capita plans to install network infrastructure in the tube as part of the planned 4G Emergency Services Network (ESN). Several mobile providers have already expressed their support for initiatives such as the Jubilee Line trial.

Khan appears to believe that the indirect economic benefits of 4G and 5G in public transportation will outweigh any costs. Many underground train networks around the world have in-tunnel mobile coverage, but London’s tube remains the city’s only substantial blackspot. The pledge is part of a larger connectivity strategy that includes fiber and 5G.

According to the Financial Times, “the rollout of SADIQ KHAN 4G coverage on the Tube and 5G citywide will enable Londoners to accomplish whatever they want. They can  do anything from preparing pitches and applying for jobs to catching up on emails on the go.”

The promise emphasizes the necessity of political networking. Several projects, such as the Shared Rural Network (SRN) and ‘Gigabit Britain,’ have been established by the central government to boost connectivity in places that have been left out of commercial 4G, 5G, and fiber rollouts.

While the government contributes some funds to these initiatives, they nevertheless rely heavily on private sector funding. Through favorable laws and making it easier to gain planning clearance, central and local governments may help improve the business case for creating this infrastructure.

The Financial Times reports that other people in the business are skeptical of Khan’s plans, particularly since a government contract that was first offered after the 2017 General Election has yet to be given.

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