The move represents a subtle change in plans and messaging for Transit Wireless LLC, which was first awarded a 25-year contract by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to deploy and maintain cellular and WiFi service across the New York subway system in 2007. (You can see my 2013 photo essay to understand how the company is using fiber to connect to cellular antennas and WiFi hotspots in the subway stations.)
The official word from the company was -- until recently -- that the full project would be completed by the end of 2017, "one year ahead of schedule." (See Transit Wireless Subway Service Comes to the Bronx.)
Transit Wireless has now moved the WiFi schedule forward, saying coverage will be complete by the end of 2016. Cellular coverage in the stations, meanwhile, will be finished "as soon as possible."
This is why WiFi coverage has started to arrive on the L-Train and G-Train lines in Brooklyn without the corresponding cellular signal. In total, Transit Wireless says it has more than 180 "Transit WiFi" stations live across NYC. (See Subway WiFi Has Made It to Brooklyn!.)
I've asked Transit Wireless for an update on the project's status, and how they are doing with opening new basestation hotels: These are the buildings that house the infrastructure to support 3G and 4G service from the four major US mobile service providers and link the WiFi hotspots to the Internet.
I'll report back if Transit Wireless has new information.
By the way, the official MTA count of NYC subway stations is 469 but 32 of those are station complexes. A number of the stations in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Queens are elevated stations that operate outdoors. So 279 underground stations are the ones getting the Transit Wireless treatment.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading