Virgin Media O2 brings 5G services to the Central and Northern lines

Virgin Media O2 customers now have better wifi access on parts of the Tube  (Aaron Chown / PA)
Virgin Media O2 customers now have better wifi access on parts of the Tube (Aaron Chown / PA)

The rollout of 4G and 5G across the London Underground is gaining steam as Virgin Media O2 launches mobile-network services on select lines.

As part of the upgrade, O2 customers will be able to use 4G and 5G to get online for the first time on sections of the Central and Northern Lines. The services are also available at select Tube stations in west and north London.

On the Central Line, Virgin Media O2’s 4G and 5G services are now available in the tunnels between Queensway and Holland Park. In addition, 5G is now up and running at Notting Hill station on Central Line platforms and in ticket halls, while 4G is available at Queensway and Holland Park stations.

As part of the rollout, Virgin Media O2 customers will also be able to connect to 4G and 5G on the Northern Line between Kentish Town and Archway. Both Tufnell Park and Archway stations have been upgraded with 5G mobile network services, while Kentish Town now offers 4G at platforms and ticket halls.

The connectivity works were completed this morning (Thursday, March 16). Transport for London is working with all four major mobile networks — EE, Vodafone, Three, and Virgin Media O2 — to make the Underground 4G and 5G ready by the end of 2024. The Jubilee Line already offers 4G services between Westminster and Canning Town Stations.

The mobile-data network will exist alongside the existing wifi network on the Tube. Passengers will be able to make voice calls, text, browse online and stream movies and TV throughout their journey, at no additional cost under their mobile contract.

Though wi-fi is fine for perusing the web while you wait for the Tube, the connection drops out as soon as you enter a tunnel. Mobile-data networks such as 4G and 5G can essentially plug that hole, allowing you to stream or play games during your journey with no interruptions.

Virgin Media O2 is promising to roll out more mobile services across the Underground in the near future.

“For the first time, our customers can access the latest 5G mobile services deep under London,” said Gareth Turpin, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media O2. “This is set to revolutionise commuting in the capital, and in the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be rolling out ultrafast mobile services at more Tube stations, in tunnels and on platforms, to bring high-speed connectivity to our customers as they travel on the Underground.”

"It’s great to see 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,” added Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer.