Tube phone calls shown the green light

The last refuge from mobile phones, the London Underground, could soon get network coverage after its bosses dismissed terrorist safety fears and reve

The last refuge from mobile phones, the London Underground, could soon get network coverage after its bosses dismissed terrorist safety fears and revealed plans for a trial study.

Comments such as ‘hello? I’m on the tube’ and ‘yes, I’m still a complete idiot’ could be ringing around the central line as soon as 2008.

Lib Dems in the London Assembly had raised fears that mobiles could be used by terrorists to detonate bombs, but Underground bigwigs revealed that bombers, such as those in Madrid, can use phone timer functions that work regardless of a signal. Which is all reassuring stuff for tube regulars.

A study, which will look into putting transmitters in four stations, will begin this month, with a view to a larger trial in late 2007.

Full-blown network could then be installed in the summer of 2008, with the study also investigating the possibilities for Wi-Fi, radio and TV coverage to help make the Underground a less brutal environment. Sounds like a handy time to fit that air-con, too.

If the plans come to fruition, the Underground could potentially rake in millions of pounds from mobile phone and internet operators. So look out for a tube carriage with silver service and high-def Premiership football in the near future.

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