Glasgow gets mobile on the underground with O2

O2 is spreading some festive cheer in Glasgow today, Monday 1 December 2008, when O2 customers travelling on the Glasgow Subway will be able to use their mobile phones underground for the first time.

To mark the launch of the underground network and to extend some Christmas spirit, a team of eight O2 Angels will give away 2,000 tickets for the Glasgow Subway as random acts of kindness at the five busiest Subway stations where mobile access will be available: Buchanan Street, St Enoch, Partick, Hillhead and Govan.

The launch of the mobile network coincides with the busiest time of year when Christmas shoppers and revellers will descend on Glasgow, the UK shopping capital, outside London. O2 is the first mobile phone operator in the UK to utilise its multi-user distributed antenna system to enable mobile phones to work underground.

Derek McManus, O2 chief technology officer, said: “We’re delighted Glasgow is leading the way with the launch of this new technology, particularly in time for the busy festive season. From today, shoppers in town will be able to phone or text friends and family about presents and meeting up, as well as arranging to meet for nights out or to alert family that that’s them on their way home.

“The new technology will enable customers to make calls, send and receive text messages and access a host of data services while on the Subway platform. O2 continually strives to provide the best service for our customers, and today’s launch marks a first for the UK,” he continued.

O2 is also highlighting how access to the mobile network on the Subway will bring personal safety benefits, particularly over the busy festive period when there are more parties and nights out. Travellers can phone or text friends and family to alert them to their arrival time, to give them peace of mind of their safety and to make social arrangements easier.

As part of the contract with transmission provider Arqiva and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), the operator of Glasgow’s Subway, mobile phone access for O2 customers will be available on platforms and station concourses in selected Glasgow Subway stations.

O2 customers will be able to use 2G services including making voice calls and sending text messages as well as 3G services such as video, internet access, downloading and MMS.

Gordon Maclennan, assistant chief executive (operations) of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport said: “This is a real breakthrough for us as the new technology opens up new lines of communications. It’s great news that from today, O2 customers will now be able to use their mobiles at Glasgow’s five busiest Subway stations.”