Sunday, February 20, 2011

China to give Britain £50m in aid so mobile phones work on the Underground by the Olympics

Passengers travelling on the London Underground could soon be using their mobile phones to make calls and send text messages.

Chinese telecoms company Huawei has offered to install a £50m phone network in the Underground as a gift from one Olympic nation to another.
The idea is being backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson but security chiefs fear the move could increase the risk of terrorism.
‘In the event of a terrorist attack, putting a mobile network on the underground would be extremely helpful,’ said Patrick Mercer MP and former chairman of the counter-terrorism subcommittee.
‘But it absolutely answers a terrorist’s prayers – to be able to detonate devices on the Underground.'
According to the Sunday Times mobile transmitters would be installed along the ceilings of tunnels so that commuters can make and receive calls for the first time on the Underground.
Huawei first needs to reach an agreement with Thales, one of the Underground’s engineering contractors and TfL, which is chaired by Mr Johnson.
It is believed Thales have been working closely with the Chinese company to create transmitters which will not increase heat during the summer months.
Mobile phone giants Vodafone and O2 have both agreed to pay for installation work while Huawei, one of the world’s biggest telecoms equipment firms, would hope to make an income from maintenance fees

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