Wireless Coverage Coming to NYC Subway

It's a dream for some, a nightmare for others. Yes, you'll be able to use your cellphone in parts of the New York subway by the end of 2011 -- but only if you're using a GSM handset.

Transit Wireless has signed AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile US Inc. to provide coverage in six Chelsea-area stations. The company, which is a partnership among Nab Q-Wireless, Dianet, and Broadcast Australia, expects to have the first phase of the underground installation completed by the end of 2011 and across the subway network by 2016.

Verizon Wireless and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) use alternative CDMA technology for wireless networks and haven't announced deals with Transit Wireless yet.

Transit Wireless and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) aren't bringing cellular and WiFi service to the entire system, however. The mobile service will operate in the stations but not in the tunnels.

This is unlike similar deployments in cities like Barcelona, Spain -- the metro system there gets cellular coverage in the tunnels too.

Users can actually receive 3G signals in some stations now where the signal is strong enough. In particular, the ACE stop near the TechWeb office on 35th Street gets good coverage because of the profusion of cellsites nearby.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:21:52 PM
re: Wireless Coverage Coming to NYC Subway

Even given that they're not planning coverage in the tunnels yet. Hopefully Transit Wireless can work faster than the MTA's project to deploy electronic information boards in stations, which is moving at a snail's pace.

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