updated 02:25 pm EDT, Fri September 23, 2011
T-Mobile & AT&T customers the first to get signals
Some New York City commuters will soon be able to make and receive calls while using the city's subway system. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will begin running its promised pilot program in four stations in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Starting September 27, subscribers to GSM providers AT&T and T-Mobile can make calls while in the underground stations, though not in the tunnels.
Cell reception for its riders has been a long term objective for the MTA. The transportation authority actually signed a contract to provide signals in its tunnels and stations back in 2007, The target trial roll out was 2009, but along the way, the project stalled when the provider, Transit Wireless ran short of money. Development resumed last year when an Australian wireless operator provided new funding.
The MTA has not given any indication as to how long the test would run, how long before it was expanded, or how long before Verizon or Sprint customers would have to wait before reception would be available for their CDMA-based phones. [via NY Times]