Italy's leading mobile operators selected infrastructure solutions firm CommScope to supply and install a cellular network to provide 2G/3G coverage across Rome's Metro network by the end of this year.
In comparison, Transport for London (TfL), which operates the London Underground, has announced that Tube passengers will have access to Wi-Fi services in advance of the London 2012 Olympics, but only when waiting on the underground platforms.
Commenting on the Italian contract, CommScope said that it had been selected by Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Wind and H3G to provide and install a multi-operator system to provide voice and data services to passengers and staff throughout the system's stations and trains. The company has already installed similar systems in Turin and Milan.
CommScope's sales director Samuel Buttarelli said that multi-operator, multi-frequency band and multi-technology standards were common scenarios when working on train projects such as these. "Despite the complexities of providing wireless coverage in moving trains, narrow tunnels and enclosed stations, CommScope expects to quickly implement a successful solution with minimal impact on the existing infrastructure, resulting in greater passenger satisfaction and more loyalty to our operator customers," Buttarell said in a statement.
Meanwhile, TfL said it has yet to select a WI-Fi system provider, but intends to appoint and have the system installed in 120 London Underground stations. According to Mobile Today, Everything Everywhere, O2, 3UK and Vodafone are bidding for the contract, with BT and Virgin Media competing to win the fixed-line side.
TfL's director of strategy and service development Gareth Powell told Mobile Today: "We are in the final stages of the tender process. London Underground is continuing with preparations to install the necessary infrastructure and is on schedule to complete the project as planned. An announcement of the chosen service provider will be made in early spring, leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games.'
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