Global law firm Ashurst has advised BAI Communications (‘BAI’), a world leader in shared communications infrastructure, on a new partnership with Three and EE to provide 4G and 5G-ready mobile connectivity across the London Underground.
The deal between the two networks and BAI, who have been awarded a 20-year concession with Transport for London to deliver mobile connectivity on the Underground, will give customers on the networks access to uninterrupted coverage whilst on the Tube and within the stations.
By partnering with BAI to deliver connectivity to their customers, Three and EE will help lead London’s transformation into a truly smart city. All mobile operators will be able to access the London Underground WiFi, as well as BAI’s neutral host mobile network, which can also be made available to the Emergency Services Network. The infrastructure will also be 5G-ready, allowing seamless upgrades in the future.
Since BAI was awarded the concession in June 2021, work at some of London’s busiest stations, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Euston and Camden Town, is underway to prepare them to be some of the first to be connected by the end of 2022. All stations and tunnels across the Tube network are due to have high-quality and uninterrupted mobile coverage by the end of 2024.
The Ashurst team was led by digital economy partner Amanda Hale, assisted by partner Nick Elverston, consultant Marcus Turle, senior associates Rebecca Clarke and Denae Engelbrecht, as well as a range of team members drawn from as far afield as Australia. The BAI legal team was led by Amanda Moore, General Counsel of BAI. Baker & McKenzie advised Three and Osborne Clarke advised EE.
Commenting Amanda Hale said:
“We are so pleased, both professionally and personally, to have advised BAI Communications on this strategic partnership. The Connected London Programme is transforming London’s digital-infrastructure – this partnership will allow high-speed mobile coverage across the Underground networks.”