The next phase of expanding mobile phone coverage on the London Underground has been revealed, with more of the Northern and Central lines coming on first.

Projected phone coverage in tunnels – green is existing coverage (c) TfL

At the moment, along with the Jubilee line between Westminster and Canning Town, there is phone coverage in the Central line between Holland Park to Queensway and the Nothern line between Archway to Kentish Town.

According to a map included in TfL’s latest Mayor’s Transport Strategy update, coverage will be expanded this summer along more of the Northern line, taking it, in stages, from Tottenham Court Road up to Golders Green and Highgate.

There will also be an expansion on the Central line, with coverage switched on between Oxford Circus and Bank stations.

These should be available by the end of this summer.

To forestall the complaints, no, it isn’t leading to people shouting on the tube, as most people use mobile data to silently check messages and browse social media — as has been the case ever since mobile coverage was enabled on the Jubilee line extension.

Testing is also starting on the Bakerloo, Piccadilly and Victoria lines ahead of switching on those sections later.

All stations and tunnels across the London Underground are expected to have mobile coverage by the end of 2024. Although the London Underground lags behind other countries in offering mobile phone coverage in the tunnels, it is one of the first in the world to start offering 5G coverage.

The network is being provided at no cost to TfL by BAI Communications, which then resells the capacity to the mobile network operators.

In related news, after Vodafone relented and switched Wi-Fi coverage back on in the platforms, using the legacy network installed by Virgin Media, but now managed by BAI Communications — they saw a surge in usage.

Vodafone customers now account for a quarter of mobile data use on the Wi-Fi network.


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  1. Guy says:

    Is there any indication of when we’ll get coverage on the Elizabeth line?

  2. James says:

    Do you have a link to the transport strategy document, I cannot find it

  3. Brian Butterworth says:

    “as has been the case ever since mobile coverage was enabled on the Jubilee line extension” which is an a constant bends and is a challenge to the best noise-cancelling software.

    You can do it, just as long as you don’t mind the conversation being metal-on-metal screeching the whole way!

    But yet, it’s 4G/5G so you do need voice-over-data functionalities, not just the old 2G-type connection.

    • Tim Conlan says:

      The Elizabeth line one is strange, it lets me connect and tells me I have Internet but there is nothing. Meanwhile everyone else in my carriage appear to be texting away without any issues.

  4. Ehab says:

    Is Bradford closed

  5. Jimmy says:

    @Tim Conlan … the same for me on the Elizabeth Line. But I am pretty convinced TfL WiFi isn’t actually providing an internet connection.

    I quite like this “by the end of 2024”. I managed a UK-wide infrastructure build where we had got the contractor to agree a build in the same timescales. A two year programme which was two years late. Unless BAI have done a lot of dark installation already, which ‘just’ needs kit adding to it, I reckon they’re on the same course!

    I’m sure I read that they switched a section on and then switched it off again. Presumably some kind of interference issue.

    The more I think about it, the more I wonder if it’s not the issue of leaky feeder installation in deep tunnels that’s the delaying factor – difficult though it is – but placing the kit and getting connectivity to it. I’m sure they have *plans*, but realising the plans is a different thing.

    Good luck to them. I would love to be working on it as it’s making such a big difference where it is live

  6. Adam says:

    Hoping Network Rail will adopt the same approach for Thameslink which has awful coverage in the core section stations and tunnels!

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