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Update: Both EE and Vodafone have now confirmed that they'll offer Wifi on the Tube in 2013.

Original story: British mobile operators EE and Vodafone are said to be in talks to allow their customers free access to Virgin Media's Wifi network on the London Underground, according to reports. A tweet from the official EE Twitter account, which has since been deleted, said, "Travel on the tube? From early 2013, EE customers will be able to get WiFi access on the London Underground at no extra cost. Details soon."

Virgin Media's Underground Wifi network is currently open to all users for free, however the company is due to begin charging for access in the near future. Presumably that's when deals with mobile operators might also kick in. Virgin and EE already collaborate on on mobile services in the UK, including the Virgin Media mobile network, which runs on EE, and on-board Wifi access on Virgin Trains.

UK tech blog Pocket-Lint reports that the two are in talks to over access to Virgin Media's Tube Wifi network, which currently covers some 72 Underground stations. What's more, Vodafone is said to be in similar negotiations with Virgin to bring access to its customers, too.

Neither company is officially commenting on the deals, but the "early 2013" timeframe suggested in EE's deleted tweet indicates an agreement well may be close.

Source: Pocket-Lint

 

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EE, Vodafone customers to get Tube Wifi access

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It's free to everyone for a limited period. They'll start charging for it at some point in the future, and then the deals with Voda and EE should kick in to allow their customers free access to the new, paid network.

I wish they'd just keep it free for everyone.

A cool thing happened the other day. I'd freshly installed JB 4.2 on my GNex after a stint of CM10. As I hadn't reloaded my music, I set off for work streaming my music via Google Music and not once did it fail - even when I was travelling underground. It had enough music cached to last while the train was in tunnels, and connected to the free wifi while in the stations to top up the cache. It was brilliant. I fear for successes like this if it has to go through an extra layer of signing-in protocol each time it reconnects to Virgin's wifi network.