EE and Vodafone have signed a 10-year deal to offer mobile services in the Channel Tunnel, meaning 3G and 4G LTE services will be available for the entire journey between France and the UK.
Train operator Eurotunnel announced in March last year that it had signed a deal with the French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industry, and Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR and Free, that saw the tunnel running from France to the UK get installed with 2G and 3G services.
Now, EE and Vodafone subscribers will have access to voice and 3G services in the tunnel running from the UK to France in March this year, with 4G LTE services to follow in the summer.
A statement from Eurotunnel claimed that the quality of communication will be equivalent to a “call made in Paris, London or anywhere above ground”.
Both EE and Vodafone said they will invest more than €6 million in technical infrastructure to connect to the tunnel network that sends signals 100 meters below the sea.
Alcatel-Lucent have built the network for both tunnels with help from DAS vendor Axell Wireless.
Ian Brown, CEO of Axell Wireless commented: “Cellular connections in rail transportation are the future. Wireless coverage is the fourth utility – people expect it as a given, wherever they are.”
Around 20 million people travel through the world’s longest under-sea tunnel each year.