Funding and technical difficulties hit Underground mobile plans
Plans to implement a mobile phone network across London’s Underground transport system ahead of next year’s Olympic Games have been scrapped due to funding issues and the technical complexity of the project.
Announced earlier this year the plans to transform the current Underground dead zone into a fully 3G compatible network have today been ditched much to the disappointment of London Mayor Boris Johnson who had pioneered the move and described the planned service as the “way to go.”
With Chinese firm and MiFi maker Huawei having already agreed to donate £50m worth of equipment to the project as a gift from one Olympic hosting nation to another Transport for London and mobile networks O2, Vodafone, Three and the Everything Everywhere partnership of Orange and T-Mobile have agreed to abandon the system plans citing funding and technical issues as the cause.
Announcing the abandonment of the plans a Transport for London spokesperson said: "The mayor and TfL made it clear that, given the financial pressures on TfL's budgets, any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers.” They added: “The parties were not able to agree a viable proposal, and the project is therefore not being progressed at this time."