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Another mobile carrier now offers wireless service in downtown's SkyTrain tunnel

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Kenneth Chan May 25, 2018 12:27 pm 4,622

Transit riders who are customers with Freedom Mobile now have access to LTE wireless service in the Expo Line’s tunnel in downtown Vancouver.

This means these riders can now use their phone while traveling through SkyTrain’s 1.4-km-long Dunsmuir tunnel and at Waterfront, Burrard, Granville, and Stadium-Chinatown stations, which has an end-to-end tunnel travel time of five minutes.

“The tunnel between Waterfront and Stadium-Chinatown stations is one of the busiest SkyTrain sections, so we’re pleased to have partnered with Freedom Mobile to offer wireless connectivity to our mutual customers throughout their downtown ride,” says Derrick Cheung, Vice-President Strategic Sourcing and Real Estate of TransLink, in a statement.

“We know that uninterrupted connectivity is important to transit users and we’re pleased that these kinds of partnerships can improve our customers’ experience at no cost to transit customers or taxpayers.”

Freedom Mobile, which was recently acquired by Shaw Communications, bought into the wireless infrastructure installed in the tunnel by Rogers Communications in 2016. It says it is working with TransLink to provide Freedom Mobile customers with wireless connectivity in other tunnels.

Wireless infrastructure in the tunnels of SkyTrain were installed and funded by Rogers Communications.

The first SkyTrain tunnel to receive wireless service was the Canada Line, which received its installation by Rogers shortly after the new transit route opened.

In 2016, wireless connectivity expanded to the Expo Line’s downtown Dunsmuir tunnel. Since then, Rogers has installed wireless infrastructure in all of SkyTrain’s other tunnels, including the short tunnel at Edmonds Station and the tunnels between Columbia Station and Sapperton Station.

More recently, the company installed wireless infrastructure in the 2.5-km-long Burquitlam tunnel of the Millennium Line’s Evergreen Extension. With this latest installation, all SkyTrain tunnels now offer wireless connectivity.

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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