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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mobile Phones on the Tube - coming soon

"Can't speak, I'm going into a tunnel"

Photo Taken by Donald McGarr from Tube Prune's website

Well it looks like we might not be hearing that any more from the summer of 2008 as the London Underground is going ahead with plans to have mobile phone transmitters in Tube, in spite of initial fears by the Lib Dems that the transmitters might provide a new way to detonate bombs.

According to the BBC, the political party "have been persuaded that any extra risk is minimal and that in an emergency, people need their phones. A study looking at putting transmitters in four stations begins this month. The two-month feasibility study will look at the space, power and changes needed to put mobile phone masts in stations."

The project, to put transmitters which would also allow internet access and WiFi hot spots, was put on hold after the July 7th bombings. In Spain, investigations revealed that the Madrid bombers, while using mobile phones as detonators, set off the bombs by using the phone's alarm function rather than by calling each individual phone.

A spokeswoman from London Underground said "The timers of mobile phones are not affected by whether a signal can be received or not so the Tube would not be at a greater risk from that type of attack than it is now".

Lib Dem MP and former London Assembly Chair of Transport Policy, Lynne Featherstone, conceded that "Better communications could be of enormous benefit in the event of an emergency, allowing passengers to communicate with the emergency services and worried relatives".

But we will still have a fairly peaceful "haven" where people aren't shouting into their phones, above the racket of being in deep level stations, for a year or so. The Tube's spokeswoman said: "It is our intention to commence a trial at a small number of Tube stations in late 2007 with the aim of introducing mobile phone and new technology provision at stations from summer 2008."

For the full story check out BBC News.

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, April 18, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon