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4G and 5G are coming to the London Underground on Three

Wi-Fi has long been available in parts of the London Underground, but soon, finally, 4G and 5G will be as well, as Three and EE are teaming up to make it happen.

Plus, this time it won’t just be parts of the network that have access – the whole London Underground including ticket halls, platforms and even tunnels, as well as the new Elizabeth line, will all get 4G coverage starting this year (2022).

This of course is a big job, so not everywhere will get 4G on day one, but Three and EE – in partnership with BAI Communications (BAI) – aim to bring 4G to just under 50 stations during 2022, with all stations and tunnels expected to have 4G coverage by the end of 2024.

5G will take longer, with around 20% of stations initially getting both 4G and 5G coverage, but the whole network will be 5G-ready, meaning that EE and Three will easily be able to upgrade the remaining sites to 5G over the following two years.

Upgrades for all

While this new joint network may be of most interest to customers of Three and EE (along with MVNOs that use Three and EE’s infrastructure), other mobile operators will be able to access London Underground Wi-Fi, along with BAI’s neutral host mobile network – the latter of which should mean they’ll be in a position to offer widespread signal in the London Underground too.

The emergency services can of course also access BAI’s neutral host network, and the deal runs for 20 years.

This is a huge deal, as any regular users of the London Underground can probably attest. Whether you want to work on the train, stay entertained with streamed video or web browsing, or stay in touch with friends and family, all of that will be a lot more viable and reliable once this network is built.


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