Wednesday, September 10, 2008

O2 goes underground

O2 is to become the first to enable mobile phones on the Glasgow Subway underground railway network. O2 will also be the first mobile phone operator in the UK to utilise a multi-user distributed antenna system which enables mobile phones to work underground.

The Glasgow Subway is the world's third oldest underground railway, after the London Underground and the Istanbul Tünel.

The contract, negotiated with transmission provider Arqiva and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), will see O2 services installed in five of Glasgow’s busiest Subway stations - Buchanan Street, St Enoch, Kelvinbridge, Hillhead and Partick. The installation will go 'live' in December 2008 and could potentially provide a benchmark for rollout in other underground stations such as London, in future.

Although initially limited to platforms and station concourses in the Glasgow Subway, the technology installed by Arqiva could eventually be used to provide coverage around the rest of the SPT underground network.

The service will work for both GSM and 3G phones and so will enable the use of mobile broadband.

Gordon Maclennan, Assistant Chief Executive (Operations) of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport said it was great news: "This has been sometime in the planning but I’m delighted that we can offer this service to our passengers in time for Christmas. It’s a first for Glasgow and it opens the door for wider [mobile] coverage in the Underground in future. Accessibility and connectivity are key parts of our continuous Subway modernisation programme."

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