Some good news for millions of new Yorkers who lose mobile connectivity when using the subway, very shortly they will be able to use their mobiles on subways. On Wednesday some of the leading wireless carriers including a consortium of 4 of the biggest wireless carriers in US submitted their bids to wire to New York’s subways station.
The contract with tenure of 10 years involves wiring only the platforms, but required companies to discuss how they expect to expand the network to the tunnels.
According to Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Tom Kelly, the winning bidder would have to let other carriers use the network.
One of the bids submitted was by a consortium of companies led by Cingular Wireless and includes Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel Corp. According to Cingular spokesman Clay Owen, Cingular will take the lead if it wins the contract.
The second bid for wiring the stations was submitted by a group of companies which included GE Capital, Time Warner Cable, Andrew Corp., Transit Technologies and Dianet Communications LLC.
The third bid was submitted by American Tower Corp., but the company refused to comment, the fourth bid hasn’t been disclosed. According to Kelly, MTA will not reveal the name of the companies until the viability of their bids is documented, and also added he did not know how long it would take to select a winning bid.
According to industry experts it’s not clear whether wiring the stations will be viable, they also said that it made sense for the companies to form a partnership to alleviate the costs.
Speaking on the development Jonathan Spira, chief analyst at Basex, an IT research firm in New York City, said, “I think everyone recognizes that there is very little money to be made but they very intelligently approached it from the pool concept to offset costs.” He further added that the real “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” for the companies was in the wiring of the trains — not in merely making it possible for commuters to talk while waiting on the platforms.