Transport for London, which manages the London Underground, plans to have Wi-Fi in many of its stations in time for the 2012 Olympics. TfL is apparently in the final stages of contracting with a service provider to put Wi-Fi hotspots in 120 of the roughly 270 stations. According to a tender document, customers will be able to access "real-time travel information, news, sports and entertainment" for free, and would pay extra for full internet access. The service provider is expected to be announced in early spring, which a TfL spokesman says will provide plenty of time to get the system running by the Games.
Wi-Fi in the London Underground has been in the works for some time. In late 2010, a test program was started at Charing Cross station. Run by BT Openzone, the service was free to BT subscribers, and could be accessed by anyone for a fee. While Wi-Fi may be up and running in time for the Olympics, however, an actual mobile network on the Tube remains elusive — a similar plan to have mobile access during the Games was discarded last year.