London Underground wireless internet supplier to be revealed in spring

by William ASTON on January 26, 2012

Transport for London is apparently in the last stages of guaranteeing supply of Wi-Fi for over a hundred of its underground stations.

Tfl’s announcement of who the chosen bidder is was scheduled for the close of 2011, but it is now expected sometime at the start of spring. Gareth Powell, the director of Tfl’s strategy and service development, commented that London Underground is still preparing to install the required infrastructure while being on schedule to see the project through to completion as planned.

Powell added that the contract is going to be in place in order to leave plenty of time for the 2012 London Olympic Games. According to a TfL document, the Wi-Fi host will provide a portal for the service to deliver media rich content that is free of charge and tipped to include travel information, sports, entertainment, and news.
Additional data services and external site links might be subject to subscription fees.

The supplier will probably manage every aspect of this service, which includes billing users. Although it probably will be extended, it is expected that the contract will last for five years. While the Wi-Fi service will be available even in deep underground stations, it won’t be possible to access the internet on the actual tube trains themselves.

Trials of Wi-Fi access started at Charing Cross station in November 2010 and the reaction of underground passengers over several months was gauged.

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