Crossrail to Get Mobile Data Connections in Tunnels Under New TfL Plans

By Gerald Lynch on at

It may be among travellers' top commuting hates, but taking calls while underground could eventually be a reality on the tube, as TfL today announced plans to have in-tunnel mobile data connections installed for the forthcoming Crossrail service.

The £15 billion Crossrail project (currently under construction and set to open for business in 2018) would act as a proving ground that could lead to mobile communications tech being installed on the Underground too. The tube network already has Wi-Fi installed at more more than 100 stations, but the connection is limited to platforms. The Crossrail plans would see connectivity extended into the tunnels themselves, allowing commuters unbroken access to the web and call coverage throughout their journeys.

London's Central and Northern lines will struggle to get the connections, due to how deep the tunnels go, and how narrow they are too. But subterranean District and Circle lines are good candidates for eventual installation. With Crossrail still roughly four years from opening though, it may be into the next decade before the tube gets hooked up too. [Standard]