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TTC Completes LTE Network Rollout for All 75 Subway Stations

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BAI Canada and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have announced all 75 subway stations now have LTE cellular connectivity, along with nine kilometres of subway tunnel across the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension.

Screenshot 2017 12 13 08 27 44

This connectivity milestone will open to the public on Sunday, December 17, but for now, only Freedom Mobile has signed onto the network, as Rogers, Telus and Bell have not.

Paul McAleese, Chief Operating Officer, Freedom Mobile, said in a statement, “If you are a commuter using the subway, Freedom Mobile is the obvious choice if you value connectivity. Our customers are the first to have cellular service at all TTC subway stations to stay connected with friends, families and colleagues throughout their day.”

BAI says cell connectivity for the downtown loop tunnel from Bloor/Yonge all the way down to Union and back up to St. George station is pegged to be finished by next summer.

The cellular network, according to BAI has been designed “to accommodate any and all carriers’ spectrum and associated power needs.”

BAI Canada crews worked over 50,000 hours cumulatively and used over 50 kilometres of fibre optic cable in 2017 alone for the roll out.

Earlier this year, the ad-supported TCONNECT Wi-Fi rollout was completed at all underground stations.

It doesn’t look like Rogers, Telus and Bell will pay to join the BAI Canada cell network, as the ‘Big 3’ held out in Montreal and the same scenario looks to be playing out in Toronto.

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  • Bill___A

    I don’t know what the point is of allowing or building an LTE network which is in a subway system where there is limited access and not having the three largest players onboard. It is a publicly owned space, so the carriers that the overwhelming majority of the public have chosen are not included? There is some reason why they are not signing up and whatever that reason is, should have been worked out prior to deployment so that no one is in a position to charge what the market will bear for access. Toronto seems to have a history of being difficult for mobile carriers, I remember the “problems” at the airport some years ago. Maybe non profit corporations should be created to build infrastructure in places where there is limited space, like subway tunnels, and it could be shared on that basis…

  • Riley Freeman

    its because the idiots that run the TTC chose someone other than the big 3 to build it. This is what you call stupidity at its finest.

    Announce something that 5 % can use.

  • Bill___A

    The bottom line is that *most* people who own the network, and *most* visitors to Canada will be unable to use it. I hope they are proud of themselves for what they have accomplished. Do people visiting other countries find themselves unable to use the mobile in public places due to stupid decisions? I can use my mobile in the subways and stations in Munich, Paris, parts of London’s tube, Montreal, and not in Toronto.

  • Exactly, yep.
    I totally agree with you. TTC should have never been able to prevent the carriers from building the network.
    The thing is that BAI paid the TTC. The Big 3 would have never paid the TTC, like (and it makes sense).

    The good news is that there is a clause on the contract between BAI and TTC that says that if the majority of the carriers are not signed up by 2020 (or 2021, I’m not sure of the date), BAI must sell the network.
    The big three are probably only waiting for that.

  • Riley Freeman

    wow 3 yeas for that clause to kick in.

    man oh man do i despise the TTC. The amount of screw ups they have, if it was a regular for profit company, they would have either folded or the people in charge would have all been out

  • Bill___A

    Thank you for making me aware of the clause, but you know, by the time that you spend waiting for them to build the network, then the years for it to “time out” you’re looking at 5-10% of someone’s life expectancy. Is this fair? I think they should not have been able to build the network UNTIL they had everyone signed on, and if they didn’t have them signed on within about three months, they should have not gained the contract.

  • Yep, I totally agree with you. That’s how it happened in Montreal.

    But I’m sure BAI will bend because not having any carrier signed means no revenue for them

  • SOB

    I joined Freedom Mobile 2 months ago because they are much cheaper than Rogers. I was a Rogers customer for a long time. So this is great that I can text my wife to tell her when I will be home while taking the TTC. Never was able to do that with Rogers.

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