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4G on the Tube: mobile coverage coming to Underground trains from 2019

Passengers on the London Underground will be able to make calls, send texts and browse the web from 2019, Sadiq Khan promised today.

The project will bring mobile coverage in the Tube’s warren of tunnels into line with equivalent services in Paris, Berlin and Seoul.

Private trials are expected to begin on the Waterloo and City line, which was chosen because it is closed during weekends.

Mobile providers will be invited to test their networks on the route for a week, according to the Telegraph.

“If we are to remain competitive in the global economy, we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access a fast and reliable digital connection,” Khan said in a statement

“That means working to boost connectivity across London – tackling not-spots, delivering connectivity in the London Underground and working with local authorities to provide digital infrastructure fitting of a global tech hub.”

But in a series of tweets, Mayorwatch journalist Martin Hoscik said credit for the move wasn’t owed to City Hall.

Wi-Fi is currently available on the Underground, but only in stations.

Londoners will first be able to make calls and send texts from TfL’s deep tunnels when the Elizabeth Line, also known as Crossrail, opens in December 2018. The new trains will offer 4G and Wi-Fi.

While passengers will start to be able to use their mobiles on the Tube from 2019, it’s not known when the rollout will be completed.

The tunnels of Berlin, Paris and New York’s metros have had Wi-Fi for years – and commuters on public transport in Seoul have enjoyed seamless calling and web browsing for more than a decade.