Friday, January 10, 2014

Channel Tunnel Will Offer Freight and Passenger Traffic Complete Wireless Communications

4G Services to Follow Initial Cellular Phone Connections in Longest Undersea Tunnel
Shipping News Feature

UK – FRANCE – It’s official, you cannot get away from a mobile phone signal these days even if you choose to travel beneath the waves. Having agreed terms with French mobile operators, Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR to provide GSM-P services in the South Running Tunnel in 2012, travellers will from March be able to connect to services in the North Tunnel (UK to France) when using Eurotunnel's freight or passenger services.

Eurotunnel and the British mobile telephone operators EE (formed following the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK) and Vodafone have today signed a 10 year agreement to offer 2G and 3G services with the intention to extend to 4G data services throughout the tunnel in the future. This will enable passengers of both Le Shuttle and high speed passenger trains to use their mobile phone or tablet device at any point of the journey through the Channel Tunnel. The partners insist that the quality of communication will be equivalent to a call made in Paris, London or anywhere above ground.

Eurotunnel says the problems associated with providing a clear, reliable signal wirelessly 100 metres below the waves should not be underestimated. In order to deliver this service to its 20 million passengers who pass through the world’s longest undersea tunnel, Eurotunnel and its partners have overcome a series of technical challenges and the work had to be conducted, without disruption to railway traffic, in a confined environment and under stringent safety conditions.