London Mayor Boris Johnson cautious on Tube mobile network

14:37 22 February 2011

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has given a cautious thumbs-up to mobile phone access on London Underground

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has given a cautious thumbs-up to mobile phone access on London Underground

2009 Getty Images

Extending mobile phone coverage to underground sections of the Tube network is “the way to go”, London Mayor Boris Johnson has said.

The Tory politician extended a cautious welcome to proposals to install transmitters in time for the 2012 Olympics.

But he warned that engineers face enormous technical challenges because of the narrow tunnels trains operate in.

Mr Johnson added that some passengers may not welcome the change.

He said: “It is commercially difficult, it is technically difficult and I am urging caution.

“In the long run, if you look at other big cities, they all have mobile phones working on Tubes.

“We have been unable to do it because our tunnels are so narrow, but in the long run it is progress.

“We have got to be clear, a lot of people will not be completely enthusiastic about having mobile phones on the Tube.

“I think it is the way to go and we have got to give people the ability to text and perhaps have some coverage for voice telephony.

“The issue is not so much the Chinese company that is offering to help or security issues.

“The issue is the technology given we have got very old and narrow tunnels.

“I am not ruling it out but I am not ruling it in either. It is on the way but do not count your chickens.”

Chinese telecoms firm Huawei has reportedly offered to install a £50 million phone network for free as a gift from one Olympic nation to another.

Transport for London (TfL) officials said discussions are under way but private companies must foot the bill with no additional costs for passengers or London taxpayers.

Digital emergency service radios work underground after new technology was installed as a result of recommendations made after the July 7 attacks.

But one MP, Conservative Patrick Mercer, warned a public network could help terrorists by allowing them to detonate a device underground remotely.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

EastEnders were crowned winners at the Inside Soap Awards – with Danny Dyer named Best Actor.

Read more

After being spotted shopping for wedding dresses back in July, the singer now may or may not have tied the knot without us knowing.

Read more

Jennifer Lawrence has pipped Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham and Emma Watson to the title of best-dressed woman.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Five under-18-year-olds are being caught drink-driving every week.

Ello is the new social network on everyone’s lips, but the question is, why?

A step-by-step guide to getting reimbursed by TFL if you’re delayed on the trains or Tube.

David Cameron says William Hague is the greatest living Yorkshireman. We respectfully disagree.

TOP Stories

08:00
Jeremy and Erin Morris. Picture: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images.

A Primrose Hill woman blamed for throwing rowdy all-night parties with her husband has apologised for disturbing neighbours – and described their antics as “middle-aged ravers getting out of control”.

08:17
(Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

Thousands attended a peaceful demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place last night.

07:33
Galatasaray fans light flares after conceding a second goal  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Flares were thrown onto the pitch at the Arsenal v Galatasary Championship League match last night - with seven men arrested for various disorder offences.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.