Eurotunnel, in partnership with a number of French mobile operators, has said it’ll install a GSM 900, DCS1800 and UMTS 2100 mobile phone system inside the Channel Tunnel in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. This will allow ‘Le Shuttle’ and Eurostar customers to use 2G and 3G mobile phones when on trains inside the tunnel.
The installation will cost €14 million. Eurotunnel is already installing Alcatel-Lucent equipment to offer WiFi-based GSM-R railway signalling communications and has chosen the same company to provide equipment for its GSM-P consumer service.
French mobile operators Bouygues Telecom and Orange SFR - to be joined in 2017 by Free - will extend their coverage through the south-running tunnel (from France to the UK) via a transmitter cable and optical repeaters. British operators will provide coverage in the other tunnel after the Olympic Games.
Eric Besson, the French Government minister responsible for the Digital Economy, said “This agreement means that from now on customers travelling through the Channel Tunnel will be able to use the full range of 2G and 3G mobile communication services. I am delighted with this achievement. I would like to thank Eurotunnel for their initiative, the major French mobile operators for their enthusiasm and Alcatel-Lucent for their savoir-faire in delivering the technical solution.”