Chinese telecom giant offers to install free mobile phone network on London Tube

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London, Feb.21 (ANI): Chinese telecom firm Huawei has offered to install a mobile phone network worth 50 million pounds on the London Underground train system for free.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has backed the idea, but security chiefs fear that this could increase the risk of terrorism.

"In the event of a terrorist attack, putting a mobile network on the underground would be extremely helpful, but it absolutely answers a terrorist's prayers, to be able to detonate devices on the Underground," said Patrick Mercer MP and former chairman of the counter-terrorism subcommittee, The Daily Mail reports.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said: 'TfL and the Mayor of London are currently in discussion with mobile phone operators and other suppliers about the potential provision of mobile phone services on the deep Tube network."

"Given the financial pressures on TfL's budgets, any solution would need to be funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers. Discussions are ongoing," he added.

Mobile phone giants Vodafone and O2 have both agreed to pay for the installation work while Huawei, one of the world's biggest telecom equipment firms, hopes to make an income from maintenance fees.

The agreement is likely to be signed by April and the Central, Jubilee and parts of the Piccadilly line will be ready in time for the 2010 Olympics, allowing London's underground train passengers to make calls and send text messages from their mobile phones. (ANI)

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