back to article EE and Voda subscribers to get 2G and 3G INSIDE the Channel Tunnel

British suits on trains hurtling along deep beneath the Channel will soon be able to continue to work online and over the phone with biz colleagues, after mobile carriers Vodafone and EE inked a 10-year deal with Eurotunnel. The companies said that from March this year their 2G and 3G mobile services will be available to …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge

I'd like to know at what point would you be considered "roaming" though?

2
1
Silver badge

Southbound, you will be "roaming" as soon as you leave the tunnel and see the French sky. Northbound, you will continue to "roam" until you leave the tunnel and see the English sky.

1
0
Silver badge

Journey time once you're in the tunnel is only about 35 minutes. Personally I'd be more interested in the roaming rates people are paying when they're the other side than this sort of arrangement.

0
0
jai
Silver badge

but...

how are we supposed to intercept international bad guys from uploading and selling their ill-gotten state secrets now? all the Tom Cruises in the world won't be able to prevent it from happening now!!

1
0
Silver badge
Go

Re: but...

Easy, don't put a disk drive on the mainframe terminal at Langley and maybe stick a security camera in the room instead of relying on poncy pressure pads on the floor.

But if all else fails, get Marsellus Wallace to point his phone at Max's laptop.

0
0

How about on UK train lines?!

Still much of the UK's mainline train routes lack proper coverage, even a consistent ability to make calls along their length. I know it would be a big undertaking, but proper 4G coverage along the main long distance routes (east coast, west coast, east midlands and great western mainlines) would be a big economic boost as people could be much more productive while travelling for work

Eurostar coverage is nice but only for 35 minutes as other commenters have said. Imagine the benefit if you could be connected to your work network throughout a 5-6 hour journey from penzance to London! I know some trains have wifi but in my experience it is unreliable and can be expensive.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

It's like the game Eddie Mair plays on P.M on Radio 4 every Friday- he rings Jonathan Dimbleby as he travels by train to wherever Any Questions is held that week, and sees whether the call drops out.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

"but proper 4G coverage along the main long distance routes (east coast, west coast, east midlands and great western mainlines) would be a big economic boost as people could be much more productive while travelling for work"

No it wouldn't be any sort of economic boost, this is the sort of sh1te logic used to make up the comedy business case for HS2. Suits (which in my defintion includes myself and most of the white collar commentardariat) are an overhead, and should be bright enough to realise that. Making our lives a little bit smoother when out and about on business travel won't save our employers any money, win any new contracts, or result in new products or services. If you can do valuable things remotely, why would you be travelling in the first place? And how will most people do anything commercially valuable in a public place like on a train without compromising commercial secrecy?

If full national 4G coverage (including all air, ground and underground) were economically valuable, then people would pay the price and the networks would happily build the infrastructure. In reality a minority of people want it, a minority of them would be willing to pay the price, and a minority of that group might actually do anything economically useful with the continuous connectivity.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

"No it wouldn't be any sort of economic boost, this is the sort of sh1te logic used to make up the comedy business case for HS2"

Actually the logic works against the business case for HS2, because it assumes that time on a train is unproductive time and therefore can be seen as a cost - making the train journey faster reduces the unproductive time and therefore the cost will supposedly be reduced by HS2.

Of course if you can work on the train it matters much less how fast it is, i.e. the unproductive time cost is lower and so the costs of HS2 begin to look more significant compared to the benefits.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

Well all the main stations that I use now have 4G access ahead of the official date of 4G in that area. Although the pretty bits in-between don't. Not that I am expecting them to get 4G soon either, mainly because it's only sheep and pigs that live in the pretty bits.

1
0

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

"Still much of the UK's mainline train routes lack proper coverage, even a consistent ability to make calls along their length."

Yep - and many of us like it that way, no noisy people bellowing into their phones when I'm trying to have a snooze on my way into work :-)

2
0
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

I have to say I'm not sure how I feel about this. My daily train commute of 30-50min, goes out of coverage for about half the journey and I have never come across Wifi on any train I've used. Lack of coverage when I'm sitting still and could listen to internet radio or watch the cricket or something is certainly annoying and it would be great to get good coverage.

However, on the downside - almost everything modern rolled out on the National network is awful, especially in the FGW areas as I am (TheCloud station wifi is almost pointless). Crap technology investment has been seen by the rail companies as a way to show 'improvements' to the network to mask the lack of any new rolling stock and a poor train service.

So I guess if there is money to invest, some more trains would be preferable. That and I'm happy that people don't try and make phonecalls that often.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: How about on UK train lines?!@ dotdavid

"Actually the logic works against the business case for HS2, because it assumes that time on a train is unproductive time and therefore can be seen as a cost "

Depends which bit of the logic. For both HS2 and the asked for 4G coverage of railway lines the logic is the same because both are seeking to address (in different ways) the supposedly unproductive time of a train journey. My points are that for anybody other than a few writers, proofreaders, and coders, train time is and always will be unproductive (so resolving train time or the alleged barriers to working on the train won't help). And even if you could overcome either journey time or make the train a secure virtual office, it wouldn't matter because most business travellers are not continuously productive.

Outside of transactional activities most "overhead" staff typically do add value to their employer, but in fits and starts, and fill in the balance of nominal working hours (in some cases outside as well) with "pretend" work. You know the stuff - project updates, team meetings, mandatory training in things that don't affect you, one to one catchup meetings, conference calls, business reviews, and indeed travel itself is perfect calendafilla for some people.

1
0
Coat

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

Perhaps UK train lines should work on offerings more directly related to their business. Like, y'know, actually having trains 365 days a year, rather than sleeping in until noon and cutting frequency on Sundays.

My coat's the one with a Thuraya handset in the pocket.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

>actually having trains 365 days a year

Having trains Monday to Friday for 52 weeks a year would be a good compromise...

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Vodafone......

can't even get decent 2G (let alone 3G or 4G) to many major town centres.

2
0
WTF?

WHAT?!

Oi!

EE & Vodafone (particularly YOU, EE)

Stop fanny-arsing around with stupid wee headline-grabbing schemes like this and sort out giving us decent strength 3G/2g coverage in the real world.

Once you've done THAT, you can fanny about with THIS sort of crap all you like.

Gits

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: WHAT?!

No, our way is much easier.

-- EE

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: WHAT?!

Indeed. Not just those networks you mentioned either. The other day, I had the misfortune to have an hour of broadband outage. Failing over to 3g was completely impossible, so slow sites wouldn't load, it took about half an hour to find the helpdesk for my broadband supplier. An hour without broadband is a bloody long time, the teenage daughter actually tried to engage us in conversation for a few minutes. Intolerable. My point is, there is such a rush to introduce new stuff, there seems to be little concentration on making existing stuff work properly. I'd rather have a network with 3g that works than gimmicks like 4g (with tiny data limits) or undersea access. I'm probably not alone. Can the networks not see this?

4
0

This is very weird

'cos I was using my 3G connecton on my phone in the Eurotunnel trains last year. Thought it was kinda odd that I had a 3G signal under the sea but wasn't complaining. Roaming charges? 3 quid a day to use my UK allowances whilst I'm abroad. A no brainer really. Much cheaper than having a permanent phone line in my house out there although the bandwidth is a little less.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: This is very weird

That would be in the northbound tunnel. The northbound tunnel was allocated to the French networks, and the southbound tunnel to the English networks. The French networks were much quicker at getting their kit installed in the tunnel, even though Orange operated on both sides of the channel at the time.

1
0

Great, more ways of surfing the web from an EE handset. If only I could also use it to make phone calls.

1
0
CM

"The companies said that from March this year their 2G and 3G mobile services will be available to customers who travel frequently on the trains" - not available to everyone but only "frequent" travellers?

The French signals are strong in their tunnel, stop ~1km before the exit. You then get UK networks but it's a pish-poor service from there to St. Panc. It would be ironic for Vody+EE to provide a good tunnel service and then the frequent drops out of the tunnel.

2
0

Signal in The Tunnel?

Can't I just get signal in my house first?

1
0

It would be awesome if Vodafone would pull their finger out RE: 4G. The 4G auction winners were announced in Feb 2013, it is now Jan 2014 and Vodafone have turned on 4G in 3 cities, which is pathetic. What is worse is that they refuse to provide a schedule of when they are going to roll out the new services.

They called me earlier this week and offered to upgrade my contract to a 4G contract for only an extra £10/month. When I asked them why I would upgrade to a 4G contract before the 4G signal was available I was told "But it'll be coming in the next 6-12 months".

0
0

HOW ABOUT GETTING DECENT SIGNAL IN LONDON FIRST!!

I've been the victim of EE's network for over 12 months now. In the 15 years I've had a mobile I've never had such poor signal. Yes I can download very fast, when available, BUT making and receiving calls is pathetic. I get more SMS notification of missed calls than I do calls, often with 3G showing on the phone.

To think these jokers are investing in ANYTHING other than improving the service where it should already exist infuriates me.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Working Already

3G has been working under the sea for a few months already. Seems quite reliable and data speeds ok,

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Above ground could be better too

It s a pity other areas around the tunnel are not better. On the Dover/Folkestone seafront, the strongest signal is often French. When you exit the tunnel and are above ground you get and lose signal several times.

0
0

With EE outsourcing all its remote engineering and network maintenance abroad, to people who do not understand what they are doing, do not expect things to get any better anytime soon.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums