Channel Tunnel to get 3G service before 2012 Olympics

British and French networks reportedly sharing costs
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British and French networks reportedly sharing costs

Mobile phone coverage in the Channel Tunnel may arrive before the 2012 Olympics in London as British and French mobile operators split the cost of installing the necessary equipment.

O2, Three, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere are set to share the expected £20 million cost of providing mobile access throughout the 31 mile tunnel between France and the UK.

The task of installing mobile coverage on the Channel Tunnel is dwarfed by the current project to provide mobile access on the labyrinthine network of the London Underground, a project which is expected to cost up to £150 million.

The Telegraph reported that UK telco industry regulator Ofcom was preparing the licence needed for British and French networks to share the same spectrum inside the tunnel.

The network will enable passengers to make calls and use the Internet via 3G services, providing an extra 30 miles of train journey before roaming charges kick in.