Wi-Fi installed in Channel Tunnel

Mobile connection to be installed inside Channel Tunnel for Olympics 2012

A €14m partnership between Eurotunnel and French mobile operators Bouygues Telecom, Orange SFR and Free have planned to install a Wi-Fi service inside the Channel Tunnel in preparation for the London Olympics 2012.

The almost 20 million people who travel through the 53km-long Channel Tunnel by shuttle and train will experience a new Wi-Fi service, which is set to be fitted 100m below sea level. French operators will install a 2G and 3G Global System and Mobile Communication-Primary (GSM-P) telephone system. GSM is a digital mobile telephony system that compresses data and transfers it down a channel with two other streams of user data. Mobiles transmit in the lower primary band of 890-915MHz.

The Eurotunnel is currently in the process of installing railway signalling equipment GSM-Railway, a Wi-Fi communication based on GSM and developed specifically for railway applications. Telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent will supply equipment for GSM-P and GSM-R, and ensure the compatibility of the infrastructure, installation and cost control.

The French mobile operators will provide an extension of their 2G/3G coverage through the south-running tunnel (France-UK) via a transmitter cable and optical repeaters, which will be positioned every 750m. The north-running tunnel (UK-France) will be covered by British operators after the Olympic Games.

“Eurotunnel, the vital link between the UK and France, is proud to commit to this investment which will enable the connection of peoples, nations and cultures in this time of instant communications,” said CEO of Eurotunnel Jacques Gounon. “Eurotunnel is sure that enabling mobile communications from below the waves will be an attraction for many customers."

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