Mobile phones going underground

The annoying ring of the mobile phone could be about to descend beneath the earth if London Underground gets its way

London's antiquated Underground rail service is getting a high-tech makeover that could give mobile phone users connectivity beneath the surface of the capital.

Tube bosses are considering auctioning off licences to provide mobile phone services after the Underground system has been fitted with a new fibre optic communications network in just over a year's time.

"When that's done, we will have spare capacity and are looking into different options," says a London Underground spokeswoman. "One of which is allowing third party companies to offer mobile phone services."

This could provide vital revenue for London's crumbling underground system and would no doubt be welcomed by many business commuters, although other long-suffering Tube users may not be so glad of another subterranean annoyance.

The spokeswoman says that London Underground is fully aware of this possible snag and intends to poll Tube passengers on whether they would like connectivity underground or would prefer to stay quiet in the dark.

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