Five part series to explore the big challenges faced when ubiquitous underground communications were rolled-out in New York, Toronto and Hong Kong.

We all share the frustrations of not having consistent mobile signal or Wi-Fi coverage on Tube and rail journeys. Today’s commuters want to experience the same connectivity as they do everywhere else, allowing them to make better use of their travel time, whether that’s working, streaming the latest boxset, or keeping in touch with friends and family.

That’s why recent developments at TfL are so exciting – London’s transport authority is set to begin tendering for a service provider in the new year to deliver 4G mobile coverage on the tube by 2019.

The benefit from this investment in communications infrastructure is clear: new digital services for passengers rolled-out in other cities have made journeys safer more productive and easier. Moreover, transport authorities have been able to explore new revenue driving commercial opportunities. As such, this move has the potential to accelerate digital transformation across the UK and boost the nation’s international competitiveness.

We fully support TfL in its ambition to deliver connectivity underground, and its desire to support and drive fixed and wireless connectivity throughout the city. TfL wants to ensure London is seen as the most digitally advanced city in the world, surpassing other global cities that are already providing these types of services to citizens. And as these cities have shown, the technology required to enable this already exists – all that’s needed is the right infrastructure partner to make it happen.

Whomever TfL chooses, there are, of course, challenges that will need to be overcome.  Whether technological, logistical or commercial, the successful bidder will need to be able to deliver high quality communications in some highly complex and hostile environments.

This is where BAI Communications can help by sharing the benefit of our experience – from the wide-open spaces of Australia, to the confined spaces of underground rail in New York, Toronto and Hong Kong, there aren’t many communications challenges we haven’t already encountered and conquered. As a result, over the coming weeks we will be publishing our views on the top five challenges we have found in the pursuit of mobile and Wi-Fi coverage on rail and underground networks.

Stay tuned!