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Users To Have Mobile, Internet Access In Channel Tunnel By 2012

The Channel Tunnel is to get mobile phone coverage in time for the 2012 London Olympics, according to a plan announced by British and French mobile operators.

UK firms Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere and 3 are partnering with their counterparts across the Channel, Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, to bring mobile coverage to the 31.4 mile long tunnel, reports The Telegraph.

The British operators will share the costs for laying down the necessary technology in the Dover-to-Calais tunnel, while the French operators will be responsible for the tunnel taking trains in the opposite direction.

The mobile technology needed for the project is being provided by France-based telecom equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent.

Meanwhile, Britain's telecom regulator Ofcom is preparing to auction off the airwaves to British and French operators to offer mobile-related services in the Channel Tunnel.

The London Underground is also set to get mobile coverage by the time the Olympic games are held in the city in 2012. UK operators have agreed to invest £150 million to bring 3G and 2G coverage to the Tube after London Mayor Boris Johnson promised to "bash heads together in the mobile phone industry".