Mobile phone deal for London Underground

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The Independent Online

A multi-million pound deal could allow commuters to use their mobile phones on the Tube, say London Underground.

A multi-million pound deal could allow commuters to use their mobile phones on the Tube, say London Underground.

The deal, known as Connect, will deliver a £350 million state-of-the-art radio communication system which will run for 20 years and is predicted to be worth £1.2 billion in total.

Connect will provide passengers with information about their journey and the Tube network in general. It will also provide mobile phone coverage underground.

Derek Smith, managing director of London Underground, said: "Connect is a major development in the Tube's communications capabilities.

"We are moving into a fast installation programme, and we get an excellent communications system which will bring improvements in the way we run the railway.

"During this period there will be no disruption to customers as a result of the intensive installation by CityLink Telecommunications."

The new system will also make the Underground safer for train operators as they will no longer have to leave their cabs to use lineside telephones when problems occur on the line, said London Underground.

Connect is a private finance initiative and is being implemented in partnership with CityLink Telecommunications, a consortium of leading telecommunications companies.

Connect will provide both a robust integrated radio and a transmission service across the entire Underground network.

CityLink will provide a fully integrated digital communications system for the whole Underground network, say London Underground.

The integrated radio system will be capable of transmitting data, text messages and pictures, offering ways to improve services to customers, said a Tube spokesman.

At the end of the 20-year contract, all the assets will revert to London Underground.

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