EE delivers 5G connectivity to the London Underground for the first time

  • EE brings 5G to the London Underground, with Archway, Notting Hill Gate and Tufnell Park the first stations to benefit
  • The arrival of 5G comes just weeks after 4G landed on the Central and Northern lines for the first time
  • Coverage is provided in partnership with BAI Communications, connecting EE’s high-speed mobile network to BAI’s Tube-level infrastructure

February 2023

EE customers are now able to enjoy 5G connectivity on the London Underground, with the network’s high-speed coverage live at three stations – Archway and Tufnell Park on the Northern line, as well as Notting Hill Gate on the Central line.

In addition to continuous 5G coverage from ticket hall to platform at all three stations, 5G is also live within the tunnel segment at Notting Hill Gate and the same will be true for Archway and Tufnell Park shortly. This will enable passengers to communicate with friends and colleagues or stream content uninterrupted.

In December 2022 these three stations were amongst the first beyond the eastern half of the Jubilee Line to benefit from EE’s 4G coverage, and the arrival of London’s best 5G Network* is the next significant step in the operator’s plans to roll-out mobile coverage across the entirety of the London Underground network, as well as the Elizabeth line, by the end of 2024.

5G will be extended to the tunnels surrounding each of the stations in the near future as part of EE and BAI’s ongoing rollout, which will also see both 4G and 5G arrive at a host of new stations throughout 2023 and beyond.

5G not only delivers faster speeds for customers but also greater capacity when layered on top of the concurrent deployment of 4G, which will prove invaluable – particularly during busy periods such as the morning and evening rush hour.

BAI’s innovative multi-carrier network connects London Underground’s stations and tunnels both with each other and with the outside world. EE’s mobile network then connects to the BAI infrastructure via basestations from Nokia’s AirScale radio access portfolio, ensuring immediate and continuous mobile coverage to customers. Nokia is supplying and installing the equipment, activating and validating the infrastructure for EE’s mobile services.

With compact and easy to deploy form factors, AirScale radios and baseband units are designed to meet various deployment needs. The basestation equipment powered by Nokia’s unique ReefShark System-on-Chip (SoC) enables high performance 5G services.

Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, BT, said: “We’re proud to bring 5G coverage to the London Underground for the first time, maintaining our position at the forefront of what is a hugely important and transformative project for the city. It’s also a further demonstration of our ambition to deliver 5G connectivity anywhere in the UK by 2028, as we continue to make great progress in our efforts to build an unbeatable 5G network.”

Theo Blackwell MBE, London's Chief Digital Officer, said: "It’s great to see super high-speed 5G mobile connectivity now available at a number of Tube stations, proving that the state-of-the-art technology being installed across the network is already future-proofed and adaptable for the next generation of mobile signal. The Mayor committed to Londoners that we would deliver 4G throughout the Tube network as part of his determination to build a better London for everyone and today marks the latest step forward as we work to improve digital connectivity at home, in our high streets, public spaces and across the transport network."

Phil Siveter CEO UK&I, Nokia, said: “We are delighted to be selected as EE’s primary network provider for this important project that will provide premium 5G connectivity to commuters on the world-famous London Underground. We have worked hand-in-hand with BT for over a quarter of a century and are proud to be their largest equipment and services provider. The scope of this project will include providing coverage across tunnels, platforms and stations and is another important step forward in the digitalisation of the UK economy.”

*Rankings based on RootMetrics® UK and metro RootScore® reports: H2 2022. Tested with best commercially available smartphones on 4 national mobile networks across all available network types. Your experiences may vary. The RootMetrics® award is not an endorsement of EE. Reports at RootMetrics.co.uk. Visit ee.co.uk/claims for more details.

About BT Group

BT Group is the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications and related secure digital products, solutions and services. We also provide managed telecommunications, security and network and IT infrastructure services to customers across 180 countries. 

BT Group consists of three customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; BT Business* covers companies and public services in the UK and internationally; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly owned subsidiary wholesaling fixed access infrastructure services to its customers - over 650 communication providers across the UK. 

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about

*BT Business was formed on 1 January 2023 from the combination of the former Enterprise and Global units.  It will commence reporting as a single unit from 1 April 2023, with pro forma reporting information to be produced ahead of BT Group’s Q1 FY24 results.