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London Could Get Wi-Fi Hotspots on Underground Railways

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The UK's Mayor of London has given his support to proposals for a Wi Fi network that would work on the city's underground railways. In a statement to a public debate on the State of London, he said he would consider any option that would was financially viable.

The Mayor has already given his backing to a plan for a municipal Wi-Fi network covering the whole city by the 2012 Olympics - above ground.

Letting people use mobile devices on the Tube network would be "to the benefit of the economy", he said. "I think people do want the facility of looking at their Blackberry, or whatever it happens to be," he added. He also noted that if voice calls were ever enabled on the network, then so-called "quiet carriages" would be made available where the use of phones would be discouraged.

The London Underground operates shallow railways which can pick up mobile phone signal in many places, but about half the underground network is in deep level tubes, which would require a dedicated indoor radio network to be deployed. Plans announced by the previous Mayor for a test network on a short length of the railway foundered after none of the bidders were able to provide a commercially viable solution.

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Tags: wi-fi  london underground  railway  indoor  option  municipal wi-fi  olympics  UK