EE And Vodafone Agree Tube Wi-Fi Deal With Virgin Media

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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EE, T-Mobile, Orange and Vodafone customers can use tube Wi-Fi for free in 2013

EE and Vodafone customers will still be able to use the London tube Wi-Fi network next year after the operators agreed a deal with Virgin Media.

Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and EE users will all have free access to the service, as will Virgin Media mobile and broadband subscribers. Others will be able to use the network on a pay-as-you-go service, with monthly, weekly and daily passes starting from £2.

Twenty new stations will be added to the network by December with another 28 added in 2013.

EE and Vodafone tube Wi-Fi talks

“WiFi on London Underground has been an incredible success with over 700,000 people already online and a remarkable million sessions every day,” said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media. “We’re rolling out the service to reach even more stations throughout London, from Camden Town to Clapham Common and, thanks to our partnership with EE and Vodafone, the majority of Tube users can stay connected for no extra cost.”

The news had been leaked earlier in the day when EE posted a tweet announcing a deal, but subsequently deleted the post from the microblogging site.

“Travel on the tube? From early 2013, EE customers will be able to get Wi-Fi access on the London Underground at no extra cost. Details soon,” read the deleted tweet. Vodafone had also told TechWeekEurope that talks were taking place.

Virgin Media announced last month that the tube Wi-Fi service would remain free for everyone until the end of 2012, but from next year would only be available to Virgin Media broadband and mobile customers. However it said that it was in talks with potential wholesale partners who could provide the service to their own customers.

Virgin Media won the much sought-after contract to provide Wi-Fi to the London Underground in March, with its wireless network going online in June in time for the 2012 Olympic Games. There are currently 72 Wi-Fi-enabled Underground stations with Internet available from ticket halls to the platforms, but not on the trains themselves.

There are more than 661,000 people using the network, with Waterloo, Victoria, Kings Cross and Oxford Circus the busiest stations in terms of connections.

The new stations to be added to the network are

  • Oval
  • Belsize Park
  • Holloway Road
  • Russell Square
  • Clapham Common
  • Balham
  • Chalk Farm
  • Camden Town
  • Bounds Green
  • Finsbury Park
  • Mornington Crescent
  • Highgate
  • Hampstead
  • Seven Sisters
  • Lancaster Gate
  • Swiss Cottage
  • South Kensington
  • Turnpike Lane
  • Notting Hill Gate
  • Wood Green

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