updated 12:50 pm EDT, Sat October 2, 2010
ATT and T-Mobile make deal for NYC subway access
Efforts to install wireless in New York City subways gained a significant boost late on Friday as Transit Wireless said it had reached deals with AT&T and T-Mobile to provide cellphone access at subway stations. The two GSM carriers have a 10-year agreement to link their phones to Transit Wireless' network in a plan that will eventually reach all 277 terminals in the city. Either carrier will have the option of renewing its deals in five-year blocks for four instances, representative Pat Smith told Bloomberg.
The agreements are coups for both carriers but particularly AT&T. The carrier has had a well-known fight to meet the demands on its 3G network but is also one of the most popular in New York City due to its current exclusive for the iPhone. Sprint and Verizon both have strong footholds in the city but may now be at a disadvantage, as either will currently lack an official way of getting cellular coverage below ground.
Transit Wireless' network will also include Wi-Fi and may cover significantly more than just the stations, as signal propagation could send both the cellular through large sections of the tunnels.