Mayor Boris Johnson backs wi-fi on London Tube network

Image caption,
Wi-fi routers could be placed on Tube platforms in the coming years

Passengers may soon be able to benefit from wireless internet technology at London's underground stations, Mayor Boris Johnson has revealed.

Mr Johnson has already promised blanket wi-fi coverage across the city by the time it hosts the 2012 Olympics.

And letting people use mobile devices on the Tube network would be "to the benefit of the economy", he said.

"I think people do want the facility of looking at their Blackberry, or whatever it happens to be," he added.

Questioned at this year's State of London Debate about technological advances for the Tube, Mr Johnson said he was "on the side of progress, if we possibly can do it".

But he acknowledged the idea would not be universally popular.

And he said that if it eventually became possible to use mobile phones on trains, perhaps there would be "quiet carriages" - as on some mainline rail services - where the use of handsets would be discouraged.

Last month the mayor said his vision was that "every lamppost, every bus stop" in London would offer wireless internet access.

More than half of London's councils have signed up for the scheme - known as Project WiFi - and a similar project in the City of London already offers people internet access anywhere.

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