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Tube mobile plans shelved

Tube mobile plans shelved

There's currently no mobile reception on much of the London Underground rail network.

Plans to install a 3G mobile network on the London Underground railway in time for the Olympics have been shelved.

We recently reported that Chinese telecom provider Huawei had offered to donate the hardware required to provide mobile coverage. It would then have been up to UK mobile operators such as 02 and Vodafone to connect everything together.

However, The Guardian reports that the whole deal fell by the wayside. The offer from Huawei proved to be quite generous too - £50m of equipment to wire up the network on the basis that this was 'a contribution from one Olympic nation to another.'

However, according to The Guardian, 'Transport for London and mobile operators including 02, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and 3 and the French engineering company Thales, agreed to abandon the project over funding issues and the technical complexity of installing the system in time.'

While the network won't be making an appearance in time for the 2012 Olympics, London Mayor Boris Johnson alluded to the fact some commuters had raised concerns about the ability to make calls on the underground.

A spokesperson from Johnson's office told The Guardian that the mobile network remained a 'long-term goal,' and that the current plan is simply to install WiFi networks at Tube stations. This would enable commuters to send and receive emails from the platform and while passing through stations - you could presumably use VoIP applications such as Skype to make calls too.

Do you miss your phone's capabilities when you're on the tube, or is the daily commute on the Underground a pleasant rest from annoying ring tones? Let us know in the forums.

16 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
MrJay 4th April 2011, 13:33 Quote
Yes it is imperative that i check my emails on my 10 minute tube ride...*Checks to see if internet is still there*
mjm25 4th April 2011, 13:35 Quote
I remember that they said that enabling a 3G network on the underground would make it considerably easier to plant and detonate bombs with mobiles. I wonder if that had anything to do with it? *tin foil hat*
Tyrmot 4th April 2011, 13:43 Quote
Good! It is the last refuge on public transport left from continuous mobile chatter.
Skiddywinks 4th April 2011, 14:02 Quote
Funding issues? When you are getting £50 million of free hardware? Sure, I can appreciate that it might not be done before the Olympics, but ****, that is far too good an offer to turn down!
SMIFFYDUDE 4th April 2011, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm25
I remember that they said that enabling a 3G network on the underground would make it considerably easier to plant and detonate bombs with mobiles. I wonder if that had anything to do with it? *tin foil hat*

I thought the same when i read the article about this a few weeks ago.
bemused 4th April 2011, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrmot
Good! It is the last refuge on public transport left from continuous mobile chatter.

+1 also wasn't looking forward to people having to shout to be heard on the phone.
Mankz 4th April 2011, 16:43 Quote
YES!

I don't have to hear about those two sales representatives from the 3rd floor who hooked up the other night while travelling to university. VICTORY.
Tech NoOb 4th April 2011, 17:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bemused
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrmot
Good! It is the last refuge on public transport left from continuous mobile chatter.

+1 also wasn't looking forward to people having to shout to be heard on the phone.

+1 I always say I'll call someone back if I get a call on public transport.
VipersGratitude 4th April 2011, 21:37 Quote
from Achmed Mahdavi <cell-leader@gmail.com>
to <martyr420@gmail.com>(Yes, this is you.) Learn more
date 4 Aug 2011 15:58
subject BOOMtime
mailed-by gmail.com
Signed by gmail.com

Dear Mohammed,

Time to press the button!

Regards,

Achmed

P.S. j/k lol

P.P.S. No really, do it...Allahu Akbar!!!
mclean007 5th April 2011, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude
...
That's pretty poor taste mate. Lots of people died or were maimed in the public transport bombings in 2005. Not a laughing matter.
mclean007 5th April 2011, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm25
I remember that they said that enabling a 3G network on the underground would make it considerably easier to plant and detonate bombs with mobiles. I wonder if that had anything to do with it? *tin foil hat*
I've heard that argument too, but remote detonation surely isn't really necessary for suicide bombers, and even for planted devices surely they will just use timers.
chiper136 5th April 2011, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude
...
That's pretty poor taste mate. Lots of people died or were maimed in the public transport bombings in 2005. Not a laughing matter.

Neither is warfare and look at the all the games we play.
MattyD 5th April 2011, 21:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm25
I remember that they said that enabling a 3G network on the underground would make it considerably easier to plant and detonate bombs with mobiles. I wonder if that had anything to do with it? *tin foil hat*

I'll see your tin-foil hat and raise you a conspiracy theory! Huawei is owned by a former Chinese Army officer and has close links to the Chinese government. The USA is so convinced they're 'in' with Chinese intelligence that they've stopped them buying various companies and patents in the USA for the sake of 'national security'. Maybe the intelligence services were worried this 'free' kit would be used for wiretapping and surveillance purposes?
rainbowbridge 9th April 2011, 02:21 Quote
its not safe to use mobile phones, we are the generation that this technology is being tested on, it affects our health it is a testiment to how stupid people are that they leave their mobile phones switched on in a enclosed metal tube and also make calls whilst in them (national rail).

The tube is at times safe haven from mobile phones, keep it that way!
CrazyJoe 9th April 2011, 05:26 Quote
Good news, the calls on platforms in some Glasgow subway stations is annoying after the peace and quiet we're used to.

I'm enjoying the free wifi on every platform though!
paulp 12th April 2011, 09:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowbridge
its not safe to use mobile phones, we are the generation that this technology is being tested on, it affects our health it is a testiment to how stupid people are that they leave their mobile phones switched on in a enclosed metal tube and also make calls whilst in them (national rail).

The tube is at times safe haven from mobile phones, keep it that way!

Mobile phones are really great but people tend to get carried away. Having areas where no service is available forces one to take a break and I is relaxing in today' high pace world. I'm for it.
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