London Tube mobile network scrapped

The Major of London has pulled the plug on the London Underground mobile phone network, which was proposed to cover the Jubilee and Central tube lines in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Instead, the Major of London has decided to step up the roll out of WiFi networks in tube stations, allowing Londoners to connect within stations, but not while on trains.

No reason was given for the halt on the project, although the Mayor of London’s office said there were “genuine problems encountered” that “could not be overcome”.

Chinese telecoms infrastructure provider, Huawei, had offered to pay £50 million- worth of the forecast £150 million project total, with the provision of much of the infrastructure needed underground to sustain the new network.

The mobile operators backing the project would have to pay the rest of the costs, as the Mayor of London refused to use tax and fare-payers money on the scheme.

However, the four mobile operators involved in the discussions to fund and equip the scheme, Everything Everywhere, O2, 3 and Vodafone, stated they will continue to look into the project and hope to provide an underground mobile service at some point in the future.