Following a successful rollout by French mobile carriers Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR in 2012, UK networks EE and Vodafone are now bringing mobile connectivity to the north tunnel of the undersea Eurostar network. Both carriers are promising mobile access for smartphone and tablet users on their respective networks with 2G, 3G and ultimately 4G LTE connectivity throughout the year.
2G and 3G networks from both carriers are set to go live in March this year following the successful installation of the necessary technologies capable of broadcasting mobile signal 100 meters below sea level, which were carried out all without disrupting rail traffic. With regards to 4G, EE has set itself a target of summer 2014, while Vodafone has yet to publicise a concrete date for its 4G switch-on. Neither carrier quote potential mobile data speeds.
The initiative comes as part of Vodafone’s current £2.5m network upgrade and EE’s ongoing plans to extend its coverage to as much of the UK (and now slightly beyond) as possible. Bringing mobile connectivity to the 35 minute Eurotunnel commute from the UK to France will serve many of the 20 million annual passengers who use the rail network allowing them to check their emails, game online or watch as many cat videos as they like without interruption.