EE delivers 5G on London Underground
February 1, 2023
By Nik Roseveare
EE customers are now able to access 5G connectivity on the London Underground, with the network’s high-speed coverage live at three stations – Archway and Tufnell Park on the Northern line, and Notting Hill Gate on the Central line.
In addition to continuous 5G coverage from ticket hall to platform at all three stations, 5G is also live within the tunnel segment at Notting Hill Gate and the same will apply to Archway and Tufnell Park shortly. This will enable passengers to stream content uninterrupted, as well as be fully connected for calls and messaging.
In December 2022 these three stations were amongst the first beyond the eastern half of the Jubilee Line to benefit from EE’s 4G coverage, and the arrival of 5G is the next step in the operator’s plans to roll-out mobile coverage across the entirety of the London Underground network, as well as the Elizabeth line, by the end of 2024.
5G will be extended to the tunnels surrounding each of the stations in the near future as part of EE and BAI’s ongoing rollout, which will also see both 4G and 5G arrive at a host of new stations throughout 2023 and beyond.
BAI’s multi-carrier network connects London Underground’s stations and tunnels both with each other and with the outside world. EE’s mobile network then connects to the BAI infrastructure via basestations from Nokia’s AirScale radio access portfolio, ensuring immediate and continuous mobile coverage to customers. Nokia is supplying and installing the equipment, activating and validating the infrastructure for EE’s mobile services.
Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer at BT, commented: “We’re proud to bring 5G coverage to the London Underground for the first time, maintaining our position at the forefront of what is a hugely important and transformative project for the city. It’s also a further demonstration of our ambition to deliver 5G connectivity anywhere in the UK by 2028, as we continue to make great progress in our efforts to build an unbeatable 5G network.”
Theo Blackwell, London’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “It’s great to see super high-speed 5G mobile connectivity now available at a number of Tube stations, proving that the state-of-the-art technology being installed across the network is already future-proofed and adaptable for the next generation of mobile signal. The Mayor committed to Londoners that we would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network as part of his determination to build a better London for everyone and today marks the latest step forward as we work to improve digital connectivity at home, in our high streets, public spaces and across the transport network.”
Phil Siveter CEO UK&I, Nokia, added: “We are delighted to be selected as EE’s primary network provider for this important project that will provide premium 5G connectivity to commuters on the world-famous London Underground. We have worked hand-in-hand with BT for over a quarter of a century and are proud to be their largest equipment and services provider. The scope of this project will include providing coverage across tunnels, platforms and stations and is another important step forward in the digitalisation of the UK economy.”