Yesterday the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledged that by 2019 Londoners will be able to make calls and go online whilst travelling on the London Underground through a 4G connection.
While regular commuters who spend hours each week stuck underground with limited service rejoiced, some have questioned whether two years is a realistic target for the roll out.
Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) said that getting comprehensive mobile phone signal on the London Underground on both trains in stations is a ‘heavy lift’ and that ‘significant investment is required’ to ensure a reliable service.
He said: “It is vital that TfL work side-by-side with mobile network operators to bring about an overall reliable user experience.”
“No matter how the network is used, i.e. whether the user is making a regular voice call, transferring files to a client before a meeting or simply streaming video on their commute, mobile networks now need to consistently deliver the best experience to all.”
The mayor also announced plans for better broadband for the capital he to eliminate ‘not spots’, he said: “A ‘not spot team’, will be dedicated to areas in London with the poorest connectivity and work with local authorities to spot and resolve these issues, so that residents and businesses can enjoy better broadband and mobile connections.”
The GWS boss said they welcomed the news from Sadiq Khan that this is a focus for the capital as ‘consumers in London are making more use of services like Apple Pay and Gett and increasingly need a robust and quick internet connection’
“As well as tackling not-spots, the new taskforce should also look at how it can prepare London for the inevitable roll-out of 5G technology so that visitors and residents benefit fully from new technology – by ensuring that the thousands of new cell sites can be deployed quickly and cost effectively,” he said.