A decision as to who is to supply Wi-Fi on the London Underground is expected in the next few weeks. Transport for London is currently looking at tenders and has said that it will make a decision shortly so that the system is in place before the beginning of this summer’s Olympic Games.
Although a decision was due to have been made by the end of last year, strategy and service development director Gareth Powell said that everything was still on track for the service to be up and running as per the original plans. Wi-Fi will be available to customers in around 120 Tube stations, although it will not be accessible on the trains.
The TfL tender document says that the company chosen to provide Wi-Fi in stations will look after aspects including free content rich media which will most likely include real time entertainment, sports, news, and travel information.
When the contract is awarded it will probably last for the next five years and have an option to extend. It is likely that access to external sites and links will be made available in exchange for a subscription payment. The successful bidder will be expected to take care of all aspects of the service, including the charging system.
Several months of testing have already taken place at Charing Cross station to gauge the reaction of passengers to the provision of a Wi-Fi service on the Tube network.