June 1, 2005
It's a shame, really. There are few places left in the world where one can get a break from the seemingly endless chatter of addicted cell phone users. Subways used to be one of them.
The London Underground, the oldest subway system in the world, was a shelter for millions of Londoners during the Blitz of World War II. To date, the Underground, like dozens of other urban subway systems, has been a refuge where one can read, snooze or stare into space, free from being subjected to a neighbor's loud 40-minute conversation to his cousin detailing his recent hemorrhoid surgery.
It seems the respite will soon be over...according to the London Times Online, the city of London has detailed plans to build an underground network to allow mobile phone and laptop users access to wireless signals while they commute. The system will be implemented in stages, and the entire network is expected to be up and running by 2008.
Just when you thought you were safe from the Spice Girls ring tones...
|Mobile Phones On Underground|
The London Times
|MOBILE PHONES will work in all 270 London Underground stations within the next three years, Transport for London announced yesterday. |
After the summer of 2008 the technology will then be extended to put mobile phone connections inside all tunnels so that Tube passengers have uninterrupted reception while on trains travelling through the underground network.
Transport for London said that 70 companies had expressed interest in providing the mobile technology to cover the capital’s 270 Underground stations. Trials could begin at one station next year, with a contract being awarded possibly around late 2007 in time for the system to be operational by the summer of 2008.
This new technology could also make it possible for Tube passengers to use their laptop computers even in the deepest of stations and lines.
Richard Parry, the strategy and service development director for London Underground, said: “We have received an excellent initial response from the market, who have demonstrated considerable interest in providing both mobile phone services and other exciting technologies for our London Underground customers.”