EE, Vodafone look to launch underground Wi-Fi next year

It is understood that EE and Vodafone intend to provide free Wi-Fi on the London Underground to their customers from early 2013.

The two mobile operators have been engaged in discussions with Virgin Media, which currently offers free Wi-Fi to its customers in 72 London Underground stations, and will provide the service for EE and Vodafone.

EE this morning tweeted, "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." However, the tweet was swiftly deleted.

EE has since said, "We're always looking at ways to improve the service we offer our customers. However, we have nothing to announce at this time."

As a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Virgin Media piggybacks off T-Mobile's network infrastructure in order to provide its services. Since T-Mobile merged with Orange to form EE, and Virgin Media already delivers free underground Wi-Fi, their partnership is perhaps not unexpected.

Virgin Media executive Jon James last month said, "we're in positive talks with potential wholesale partners to ensure a fantastic experience for all tube passengers throughout 2012 and beyond."

As of last month, the underground network had been accessed by well over half a million London commuters.