3G under the sea ahead of the Olympics

French telecoms operators offer mobile services throughout the channel tunnel
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Travelers to the Olympics can now access their mobile services nearly 100 metres under the sea.

French phone operators have started providing 2G and 3G services within the channel tunnel ahead of the Olympic Games.

However, the service is currently only available to those travelling into the UK, and not those leaving the country.

French operators Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR have all begun offering the service in the south tunnel - which runs from France to the UK, whilst British providers have announced they will not start their own coverage within the north tunnel - which runs from the UK to France, until after the Olympics have finished.

The service will be a welcome addition to passengers and drivers using the Eurostar, shuttle and freight service to make their way to the London 2012 Games.

"Eurotunnel is proud to be able regularly to improve the services we offer to our customers through major technological innovation, this time based on the expertise of Alcatel-Lucent," Groupe Eurotunnel technical director Jacques Gounon said.

Whilst French passengers are currently free to use the service in its entirety as part of their standard tariff, UK customers face another drawback in that if they choose to connect to the service through a French operator, they will be subject to roaming charges, despite half of the journey falling under UK jurisdiction.

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