Operators each confirm their networks are now live 75 metres beneath the English channel, as part of a £12 million investment.
O2 and EE have become the first UK network operators to offer 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity on the Eurostar between England and France.
EE told Mobile News it completed the network installation late September, whilst O2’s went live this month.
The news follows an agreement signed between O2, Vodafone, EE, French operators Orange, SFR and Bouygues, Channel Tunnel owners EuroGroup and infrastructure provider Alcatel-Lucent to bring calls, texts and data to customers travelling below the English Channel.
All operators are understood to have invested £2 million each to bring connectivity through the 23.5 mile North running tunnel.
The move to introduce signal in the tunnel came after French operators including Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom introduced connectivity to the South tunnel prior to the 2012 Olympics.
According to EE CTO Fotis Karonis , so far more than 25,000 customers have used its network on Eurostar trains, with more than 282GB of data being used. Peak 4G download speeds of 57 Mbps have been achieved, with an average of 13.5Mbps. Around 20 million passengers use the Eurostar every year.
Karonis said: “Our 4G rollout has changed the mobile landscape in the UK, and we’re very proud to have been the first UK operator to put superfast data 75 metres underground in the Channel Tunnel. We’ve been watching the performance of the network for the last two months and we’ve now delivered a great data experience to more than 25,000 customers, and made a real difference to people commuting and going on holiday.
“The 4G network lets customers stream HD video, download large files, and use video calling services, all while 75 metres underground, travelling up to 99 MPH during the half hour journey.”
O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne added: “We have just completed our investment in the euro tunnel, and are able to provide all the services including 4G to passengers.”
Vodafone confirmed that its 2G and 3G services are already live in the tunnel, with a spokesperson saying 4G will go live “in due course.”