The Daily Telegraph reported that the French company was in talks with TfL to install mobile and broadband connectivity across the entire London Underground network, including stations and trains.
Alcatel-Lucent chief executive Ben Verwaayen told the newspaper that the company was planning to start by implementing broadband and mobile phone reception. Verwaayen did not comment on timing or cost of the roll-out but said the deal is “not a hypothetical, it is coming”.
“You can’t use your iPad today everywhere in the London Underground. You should, so that’s what we’re doing. We help to make sure that the coverage is there. You sit there in the train and you want to work in the train. That’s what we’re doing,” Verwaayen is quoted as saying.
The Alcatel-Lucent chief added that further services would follow – such as the ability to find out when trains on different lines are due, so people can plan their journeys and connections more effectively.
Previous plans to provide mobile coverage on the tube network have come to nought with Chinese vendor Huawei most recently failing with its offer to make the £50 million upgrade in 2011.
The first stations to have Wi-Fi – provided by Virgin Media – went live last week using Alcatel-Lucent technology, with 80 planned stations due to offer the services by July.