Metro Expects Better Cell Service by Mid-October
Been waiting for some good news from Metrorail this month? The transit authority says that work is underway to upgrade the wireless service underground. Riders who use services other than Verizon should be able to make calls and access the Internet from 20 of the busiest underground stations by mid-October. (Of course, not every rider is going to see this as good news.)
Metro had announced the upgrade program earlier this year, but the timetable is more specific.
"This is the first phase of Metro's effort to bring expanded cell phone carrier service to the entire Metrorail system by 2012," Suzanne Peck, Metro's chief information officer, said in a statement today. "After we complete the first 20 stations this fall, the carriers will install service at the remaining 27 underground stations by the fall of 2010. Customers will be able to use these carrier-provided wireless services in tunnels between stations by October 2012."
Under this program, users of Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, AT&T and T-Mobile. will be able to to make calls, send text messages or surf the Web from the 20 stations starting Oct. 16.
During the next two months, Metro said, the wireless companies will install a network at these stations: Ballston, Bethesda, Columbia Heights, Crystal City, Dupont Circle, Farragut North, Farragut West, Federal Center SW, Foggy Bottom, Friendship Heights, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, L'Enfant Plaza, McPherson Square, Metro Center, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Rosslyn, Smithsonian and Union Station.
People who use those stations will see large, cabinet-like enclosures installed for the hardware at the ends of the platforms or on the mezzanines.
Under this deal, the companies also are building a new wireless network that Metro will own and operate for its own communications.
August 18, 2009; 11:16 AM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, wireless service
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