Virgin Media has received the contract for providing Wi-Fi access to users on the London Underground, with mobile services set to be ready for the Olympics in July.
Virgin expects that the service will be available in 70 stations by the beginning of the event and 120 by the end of 2012, after it won a tender from Transport for London.
The wireless connectivity is platform bound only and is not set to work on trains as of yet. Virgin are providing the service free to its own customers after the Olympic Games, though it is set to be available during the Olympic to all without a cost. Other customers will also be able to avail of a limited amount of free data, before having to enter in pay as you go scheme if they wish to use more. Connectivity will be available through a TFL portal.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said ‘”Millions of passengers will now be able to connect to their work, friends or access the latest news and travel information whilst on the move,” said London mayor Boris Johnson.
“This is a fabulous new and free resource which will be in place from this summer when London is being showcased on a global stage and playing host to millions.”
Virgin is expecting to spend over £640bn on the venture, which will provide the Wi-Fi network. This is about 15-17 per cent of what the company hopes to make in revenues.
“With the eyes of the world on London this summer, we’ll be showing off our capital as a leading connected city on the global stage,” said Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media.