TfL Reveals First 80 Wi-Fi Underground Stations

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Virgin Media says service is on track for summer launch

Transport for London (TfL) and Virgin Media have announced the first 80 stations that will receive free Wi-Fi in time for this summer’s Olympic Games.

Virgin Media won the contract to supply the service in March and it will become a Pay As You Go service to non-subscribers of Virgin’s mobile and broadband services.

Going underground

Among the initial 80 stations are busy central London interchanges such as Oxford Circus and Leicester Square, major rail terminals such as Kings Cross St Pancras and Victoria as well as Heathrow Airport. It is expected that the service will be expanded to 120 stations on the network by the end of 2012. Passengers will also have access to a free portal that will display service information and the TfL journey planner.

“Bringing a next generation Wi-Fi service to one of the world’s oldest underground transport networks is progressing as planned and the forthcoming service is testing well,” said Gareth Powell, London Underground’s director of strategy and service development.   “The first stations include some of our busiest and most well-known destinations and we’re on-track for a successful launch this summer – all delivered at no additional cost to fare payers or tax payers.”

Virgin is continuing to test the service at a number of stations and recently completed capacity testing at Chancery Lane where hundreds of devices were connected at exactly the same time to the station’s Wi-Fi connection to simulate demand. The Wi-Fi network can be used on platforms but not on trains themselves, but at least passengers will have something to do during the expected transport chaos during the Olympics.

“In partnership with TfL, we’ve been working around-the-clock to install and test Wi-Fi on London Underground and are about to connect some iconic and world famous Tube stations with a Wi-Fi service London will be proud of,” said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media.

Virgin Media would not reveal an exact launch date for the service to TechWeekEurope, but reiterated that it would be ready in time for London 2012.

The Cloud has won a separate contract to provide Wi-Fi connections at all 56 stations on the London Overground network. Commuters will receive 60 minutes of free Wi-Fi a day and unlike the London Underground service, it will remain free after the Olympics.

The full list of stations:

  • Aldgate East
  • Angel
  • Archway Euston
  • Arsenal
  • Barbican
  • Bayswater
  • Bermondsey
  • Bethnal Green
  • Blackhorse Road
  • Borough
  • Brixton
  • Caledonian Road
  • Camden Town
  • Canada Water
  • Canary Wharf
  • Canning Town
  • Chancery Lane
  • Charing Cross
  • Clapham North
  • Covent Garden
  • Edgware Road (Circle)
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Embankment
  • Euston Square
  • Finsbury Park
  • Goodge Street
  • Green Park
  • Hammersmith (District/Picc)
  • Heathrow T1-3
  • Heathrow T4
  • High Street Kensington
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Holborn Pimlico
  • Holland Park
  • Hyde Park Corner
  • Kentish Town
  • Kings Cross/St Pancras
  • Lambeth North
  • Lancaster Gate
  • Leicester Square
  • Liverpool Street
  • London Bridge
  • Manor House
  • Mansion House
  • Marble Arch
  • Marylebone
  • Mile End
  • North Greenwich
  • Old Street
  • Oval
  • Oxford Circus
  • Paddington (Main)
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Queensway
  • Regents Park
  • Seven Sisters
  • Southfields
  • Southwark
  • St James Park
  • St Johns Wood
  • St Paul’s
  • Stepney Green
  • Stockwell
  • Stratford
  • Swiss Cottage
  • Temple
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Tower Hill
  • Tufnell Park
  • Vauxhall
  • Victoria
  • Walthamstow Central
  • Warren Street
  • Warwick Avenue
  • Waterloo
  • Wembley Central
  • Wembley Park
  • West Ham
  • Westminster
  • Wimbledon Park

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