back to article Glasgow tube gets phone coverage

Glasgow’s underground railway isn’t as well connected as London’s, but the Scottish city’s network will soon boast something that the UK capital’s tube network doesn’t: subterranean mobile phone coverage. Carrier O2 has hatched a deal to bring mobile phone coverage to the city’s subway, allowing the network operator’s …


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  1. david
    Paris Hilton

    About time

    Hong Kong has had Mass Transit Railway (MTR) coverage for nearly 15 years. Many cities in China and Asia with underground railways already have coverage too.

    One of the excuses used by London Underground and Gov't to resist introducing coverage was that a mobile phone could be used trigger a bomb. Indeed so, but it's not the only way as was demonstrated in 2005.

    Paris on the phone? - she doesn't use public transport.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Thank God i left weegie land a long time ago, can just imagine some of the conversations from the neds,

    "aye Andy, i puur says to him 'gonnae no do that or i'll kick ye in the chuddies', naw what i mean, naw. Oyyy..that wee Ruthys a wee darlin aint she? widdnae mind havin a wee shot of her ginger. Gonnae get us sum Buckfast so we can have a wee swally at lunch before the PE class?"

    Paris, because there's even a Hilton in Glasgow.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great - keep the radiation coverage up..

    That's going to be fun - given the amount of space and the physics involved you'll be almost on top of the antennae. Let's use the Glaswegians to see if there really *is* something to phone radiation..

  5. Tom
    Paris Hilton


    Derek McManus, O2’s CTO, boasted: “This is the first time that any mobile phone network in the UK has implemented a service like this."

    Certainly is. The first time since the last time he did the same in Newcastle's Metro system.

  6. yeah, right.


    Just what we've always needed. Glaswegians yelling even louder into their mobs in order to push the sound through tunnel walls. As if we weren't already being soundly deafened by people who think that because they're having trouble hearing someone then they need to yell into their phone.

    Makes you want to disarm people. Where's me claymore?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    How will people be able to hear whoever they're talking to on the phone over the announcements?

    They're so loud I can hear them from outside the Dundas St entrance.

    At the other end of a long tunnel.

  8. Gareth Davies

    Well, thats another fine mess, Glasgow first, then London.

    Just when you thought it was safe to travel on the tube without having to put up with some snotty wanker bigging up his latest business deal on his mobile phone, they plan stuff like this. Just hope they bring in Silent carriages on the tube, but fat chance of that. (Hell, a clean carriage would be nice!)

    Having said that, I can see one benefit to our disruptive elements. It will make it a lot easier for Martyrdom shy terrorists to do their thing............or for their handlers to make sure their Martyrs do go pop!

    Interesting how Glasgow and London have both experienced terrorist attacks (Alright, Glasgow was more Amateur Hour I know).

    Not impressed.

  9. Maisie Donaldson

    Glasgow Underground

    The Glasgow Underground has always been a leader in technology - see this from a recent technical review -

    and also this -

  10. Bruno de Florence

    When in London...

    The Paris tube network has had cell phone coverage for ages. Parisians are always surprised when finding out that they cannot use their mobiles in the London underground. After all, London has been chosen to organise the next Olympic games, hasn't it?

  11. Allan Dyer Silver badge

    How backward can you get?

    'Round here (Hong Kong), coverage in tube (MTR) tunnels and road tunnels has been available for years. SOP is to talk at a volume that renders telecommunications unnecessary. The other effect is to allow phone companies to increase their prices... there is a non-optional monthly "tunnel surcharge", about 20% of my bill, even for a phone that never leaves my office.

    Mine's the one with the earplugs.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Glasgow Subway

    I was going to comment on other cities having phone coverage in their undergrounds, but that's been covered already.

    There's no way you'll be able to make a phone call on the Glasgow subway, it is far too noisy! I can't even listen to music when I use it, as I would have to play my MP3 player at the loudest setting - when I have usually got volume halfway through on the train. I guess it will be funny to see people trying it out only to realise you cannot have a conversation on the Glasgow underground. Being able to text will be a plus, but the choice of the Glasgow subway as the first in the UK to get mobile phone coverage amuses me.

    Paris, as I've been able to use my mobile phone in the Paris metro for ages.

  13. Colin MacLean

    A noise annoys

    The racket the trains make as they trundle around the tunnels is so loud that I can't even hear music using in-ear 'phones.

    It'll be like using a mobile in a disco. Unless it's the disco in Eastenders where they can talk to each other at a distance of 10 metres without even raising their voices...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Already got this in Newcastle....

    Already have coverage on the underground stations on the Newcastle Metro and what is better all the networks have installed cells not just o2.

    Just think all those poor Glaswegians with iphones can now suffer o2s terrible 3G network underground

  15. Robert Steadman

    Heathrow Express

    I had a Cellnet (now 02) phone in 2000 that worked underground at Heathrow Central, and on the train all the way through the tunnel. I'm pretty sure Heathrow Express claimed then this was the first underground railway with mobile phone coverage; something Derek McManus may have overlooked.

    Can some railway anorak confirm this for us?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    yawn - not news

    Melbourne only has four underground train stations but there's been gsm reception available throughout the system for at least 8 years...

  17. Seamaster

    Newcastle's Metro has had it for years

    We take it for granted up here.

  18. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    Shouty Twats

    I have found the best way of dealing with Shouty Twats on the tube (overground) or trains is to pretend to have a phone conversation but do it LOUDER than them.

    Another one that works REALLY well is to do a Dom Joly on them.

    For those who don't know Dom Joly is a comedian who did a series of sketches where someone pulls out a HUGE cellphone and shouts into it "HELLO! WHAT? NO, I'M ON THE TRAIN"

    Once they realise that you're taking the piss most of the Shouty's give up and shut up. Those that don't just need encouraging with a knee/elbow/brolly/briefcase.

    I would find access to the interweb useful whilst on the tube and call access would be useful but please people, speak quietly to your phone. It's right next to your mouth and YOU DON'T NEED TO SHOUT!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Terrorist dream...

    Now they only have to get a package onto the underground and ring it to detonate.

    Or to co-ordinate their underground by phone.

    There is progress. If you can;t be out of contact for the time you spend on a tube - you need time management classes. But I guess you're too busy.


  20. citizenx

    Nothing new

    The Tyne and Wear Metro has GSM and 3G coverage underground. Amusingly, in some areas it has none above ground but certainly in Newcastle City Centre you can easily use your phone!


    I'm with terry, bruno & allan!

    I was fortunate enough to leave the pig hole of London and now live in Stockholm where their tube is clean and has had mobile coverage for years... oh, and air con - not like they need it much though...

  22. Colin MacLean

    Old school terrorists

    What's so great about being able to detonate bombs by mobile phone?

    Back in the good old days, the baddies had several sticks of TNT attached to a digital timer with a large LED display ticking down.

    Or maybe this was just in Dempsey and Makepeace?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do the operators have some cash to spend on their networks then?

    Expect the other operators to be on soon as they usually work together on projects like this.

    Having worked on a few of these systems worldwide they are extremely expense as the installation companies and the train operators think that they can make a fortune from the operators.

    As for the London Underground don't bother waiting. TFL want too much money and it would cost a fortune to install due to the working practices of LUL.

  24. M


    The Seoul Subway has had cell coverage for over 10 years now.

  25. Kenny Swan


    The glasgow tube is a tiny network. Nothing compared to cities like London. A typical morning commute on the Glasgow tube will take about 10 minutes or something for most people. People these days can't go that long without using their phone?

  26. Mo

    What's the point?

    I mean, seriously. Why?

    It's lovely that Seoul and Stockholm have mobile coverage underground, but the reason we haven't done this is that no bugger actually *wants* everybody to have mobile coverage underground.

    It's a PR exercise and a source of irritation.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    London does not have a coverage for a different reason

    The sole reason London does not have coverage is greed. It has been told by the competition commission that whatever TFL puts in must provide equal access to all mobile operators. However TFL has always wanted (and continues to want) to have an exclusive arrangement with a single carrier and skim extra revenue.

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