Chinese Telecom giant, Huawei, has offered to install a £50 million mobile network in the London underground in time for the 2012 Olympics.
According to the Sunday Times, it would be a ‘gift’, hoping to gain a foothold in the UK for establishing future networks, and maintenance fees for this future network. Vodafone and O2 were also mentioned to be picking up the installation bill.
London Mayor Boris Johnson backed the idea of creating an underground mobile network- as long as it won’t add an extra cost to taxpayers.
Huawei first need to sort out agreements with underground engineering contractors, Thales, and Transport for London, responsible for the running of the underground.
There are already mobile networks on underground systems in both Paris and Hong Kong.
Discussions are ongoing, with rumours of an April deadline.
Source: The Sunday Times