Soon you could be making phone calls, texting or tweeting to your heart’s delight, or even streaming that latest must-watch boxset while on the Tube, as new plans to bring mobile signal to the depths of London’s transport have been revealed.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that Transport for London is working on bringing 4G connectivity to the underground and that it’s just two years away.
Trials will take place to test the technology to take into account the quirks of the underground network such as confined spaces with the view of introducing 4G signal from 2019 onwards, and ensuring it will be able to support 5G in future.
Read more: The 53 countries where you get better mobile signal than the UK
Transport for London is currently looking at how it can make it commercially viable as it has to become self-sustaining after government cuts. It will look for feedback from the public and work with industry as to how it can make it profitable.
The plans are part of the mayor’s promise to tackle the capital’s black holes when it comes to connectivity. A newly appointed “trouble-shooting taskforce” will tackle London’s so-called not spots, where it is not good enough such as parts of the City and Westminister, as well as Rotherhithe.
Khan said the efforts to boost London’s connectivity would be crucial to the city’s efforts to remain a world leading centre for technology.
Read more: One simple map identifying the UK’s mobile deadzones
In a letter to local authorities, Khan said:
“World-class digital connectivity will increasingly become a vital part of achieving higher productivity for London’s business and better social and economic outcomes for Londoners. I recently set out my ambition for London to become the world’s leading ‘smart’ city, and above all else, that means being a connected city. In that context it is reasonable to say that before too long, every household and every business in London should have access to a superfast internet connection, and that free public connectivity should be a feature of our high streets and public spaces.
“However, I know that you will be as aware as I am of the gaps in high speed digital connectivity across London that currently exist, and the frustration this creates for Londoners and business. I am writing to you to ask that we work together to find and expedite solutions.”
The mayor said the new Elizabeth Line crossrail route due to open next year will have full mobile coverage.