The award of Transport for London’s (TfL) multimillion-pound contract to install a Wi-Fi network across 120 London Tube stations has been pushed back to next year.
The delay is a further blow to Government plans to improve mobile services on the London Underground, which has already seen plans to install mobile access on the Tube in time for the 2012 Olympics collapse.
The Wi-Fi contract was due to be awarded by the end of 2011. However, a TfL spokeswoman told Mobile: ‘A decision will be made early in the New Year.’
TfL declined to reveal the shortlist of bidders. Everything Everywhere, O2, Three and Vodafone are understood to be competing for the contract, along with BT and Virgin Media on the fixed-line side.
TfL is aiming to install Wi-Fi by June 2012, in time for the London Olympics.
However, delays to the award of the contract could threaten the delivery of the network before the Olympic Games.
The Wi-Fi system will allow commuters to access their emails and surf the net while waiting for Tube trains. The contract was tendered following a trial with BT OpenZone at Charing Cross Underground Station in central London.