London Tube's mobile use talks collapse

Passengers at a Tube station

Blog: Mobiles stay silent on the Tube

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Plans to enable passengers to use their mobile phones while travelling on the Tube have fallen through over funding issues.

Transport for London (TfL) said talks stalled after mobile phone operators were asked to fund the scheme.

Mayor Boris Johnson's office said full mobile coverage on London Underground "remains a long-term goal".

TfL said it had invited tenders from phone companies to provide wi-fi access to 120 stations by June 2012.

'No viable proposal'

In February, Mr Johnson said mobile phone technology was the "way to go" on the Tube, adding that concerns were over cost, not security.

Speaking on the issue of mobile phone coverage, a TfL spokesperson said: "The mayor and TfL made it clear that - given the financial pressures on TfL's budgets - any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers.

"The parties were not able to agree a viable proposal and the project is therefore not being progressed at this time."

The mayor's office said it was "disappointed" at the outcome of the talks.

"It remains a long-term goal but our efforts meanwhile will be focused on guaranteeing a major expansion of wi-fi coverage in Tube stations in time for the Olympics."

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