Yesterday, the MTA introduced wireless service for mobile devices at six Manhattan subway stations with a little help from T-Mobile and AT&T. You’ll be able to do everything you normally do on your phone, and 911 will be more accessible as dispatchers will be able to tell when a call is being placed at street level or underground.
San Francisco instituted something similar in 2006 and Boston followed in 2007, but the New York City subway system draws 1.6 billion riders annually, making it one of the busiest in the world. Even with a heightened level of security, there are still concerns. Cell phones were used to detonate bombs in the public transit systems of Madrid in 2004 and London in 2006. When asked about the terrorism threats created by cell phones, Transit Wireless CEO William Bayne pretty much said that’s a question for the NYPD to answer.
This project should result in thirty more stations such as Herald Square, Times Square and Columbus Circle receiving Remote Fiber Nodes. The complete roll-out should reach 271 stations over a four year period, and cost between $100 and $200 million, which come from the pockets of the carriers and Transit Wireless.
Here are the stations that currently have service:
A, C, E at 14th Street
L at Eighth Avenue
C, E at 23rd Street
1, 2, 3 at 14th Street
F, M at 14th Street
L at Sixth Avenue