Huawei and London Underground deal imminent
Chinese Mobile phone manufacturer Huawei is close to sealing a deal with the London Underground, which would see a mobile network installed on the Tube.
The mobile network Tube deal would mean that telecoms equipment would be provided by Huawei, whilst installation and maintenance would be done by Thales.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been looking to fit the Underground with improved Wi-Fi and mobile coverage ever since London won the right to stage the 2012 Olympics, so time is of the essence.
However, these time constraints coupled with the fact that Huawei appears to be the only equipment provider in the running, doesn't make for the ideal situation as some people might speculate that a little more choice, as well as time, would ensure a quality job.
It is estimated that the system will cost in excess of £100 million, with the telecoms equipment being installed along the roof of the Underground's tunnels.
There are also some worries over Chinese involvement with the deal, as Huawei has run into problems in the States with previous global expansion. However the company's equipment is already used by BT in the UK, so it shouldn't be a deal breaker - especially as Huawei is the only one offering to do the work.
The company stated that: "Huawei is a 100 per cent privately held global company owned entirely by its employees and has no link with the Chinese government."
One aspect of these changes is the fact that Underground users will clearly be using their phones a lot more, which in turn will create a very different travelling experience.
Are you happy with Huawei being involved, and the changes to the underground in general? Let us know in the comments.