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London Underground commuters demand mobile signal

Deal for Tube coverage could be signed any day
mobile phones underground

Mobile phone networks are close to signing a deal with Transport for London (TfL) to build a mobile network on the London Underground – and research from Which? Conversation reveals that most commuters are backing it.

Research carried out by Which? Conversation shows that the majority of mobile phone owners would welcome mobile coverage as they travel underground. 

Almost six in ten (59%) said that they would like to be able to use their phone on the Tube, but just over three in ten (32%) were against the idea.

Why use mobiles on the Tube?

The most popular reason for wanting mobile coverage was to ‘let people know when I’m running late’, according to 85% of those in favour.

Other answers included ‘catching up with friends and family’ (48%), ‘planning out the rest of my journey/day’ (42%) and nearly a third said they’d use a mobile for catching up on work.

TfL is said to be close to signing a deal with the ‘big four’ mobile operators. The proposal also has backing from Mayor Boris Johnson, who is said to be pushing for the network to be in place in time for the Olympics. 

If plans go ahead, networks will provide both a 3G and 2G signal by placing signal ‘repeaters’ in each station to push the signal down the line.

Annoying commuter behaviour 

Which? Conversation also asked commuters what passenger behaviour they found most annoying. 

Top of the list was not letting people get off before others get on, according to more than seven in ten (76%) respondents. 

More than six in ten (66%) said that they hated it when people shoved and pushed, making it difficult to get on and off the train.

Suggesting that a significant number of people may be bothered by noise from mobile phones, almost six in ten respondents didn’t like hearing music coming from people’s headphones. 

Do you want mobile coverage?

Would mobile coverage on the London Underground make your life easier or make your journeys less pleasant? 

Tell us whether you want to use your mobile underground on our community site, Which? Conversation.

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