Financial News

  • 11 January 2014, 5:46

Mobile Boost For Channel Tunnel Travellers

Mobile phone services through the Channel Tunnel are to be improved for travellers.

British commuters and holidaymakers will soon be able to boast that they are calling from 100m below sea level when the north tunnel is connected to the mobile network for the first time.

Two UK providers have signed  a 10-year contract to cover the section of the 30-mile tunnel that carries trains from England to France.

The deal brings British phone users up to speed with their French counterparts, who have enjoyed services provided by their three largest networks in the south tunnel since June 2012.

Some 20 million Eurostar passengers passing through the tunnel each year will eventually be able to make calls, send emails and stream music and video.

Eurotunnel said it had received many letters, calls and emails requesting an upgrade in both directions and is in talks with other operators about joining EE and Vodafone in providing the service.

Vodafone and EE expect to have 2G and 3G services up and running by March, with EE promising 4G connections by summer 2014.

For the time being, customers of the other UK networks will have to pay more after manually switching over to Vodafone or EE.

EE's chief technology officer Fotis Karonis said the service would "make a big difference to business workers and people going away on holiday".

There will be no disruption to trains as the work to install mobile radios and cables was carried out to both sections of tunnel in 2011.

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