Huawei bidding to supply tube with mobile network


Chinese vendor confirms it is involved in the bidding process to provide the London Underground with a mobile network in time for the 2012 Olympics

Chinese network vendor Huawei is involved in the bidding process to supply the London Underground (LU) with mobile services in time for the 2012 Olympics.

The installation of a mobile network on the network has been estimated at £50 million.

Transport for London (TFL), which runs the underground has previously said any mobile network installed on the tube would have to be funded by the vendor.

In a statement given to Mobile News, Huawei would not specify particulars but did confirm it was involved in the process.

A Huawei spokesperson said: “Due to business confidentiality, we are unable to comment on the project at this point, but we can confirm that we are involved in the bidding process.”

Huawei stressed its desire to increase its presence in the UK market and emphasised the fact, that should it go ahead and be awarded the contract, it would concentrate strongly on security.

The availability of mobile services on the underground has been highlighted as a possible detonation tool for explosives.

The spokesperson said: “The UK is an important market for Huawei, and we endeavour of providing secure, technologically advanced communication services to the British people.

“As a world leading telecom vendor, Huawei has a proven track record of providing secure products and solutions to our customers including 46 out of top 50 telecom operators globally.

“Our newly opened cyber security centre in the UK shows our commitment to ensuring our equipment meets the most stringent security requirements.”

TFL confirmed it was in discussions with “mobile phone operators” and “other suppliers” about the potential provision of mobile phone services on the underground.

French electronics group Thales, which specialised in providing technology services to transport systems has also been linked with a possible LU deal.

A spokesperson for Thales UK refused to comment to Mobile News, saying: “I can’t comment while discussions are ongoing”.

Other network providers, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson where also unavailable for comment.