China offers UK £50m aid for Olympics

Huawei, a chinese telecoms company, has offered to install a £50m phone network in the London Underground that would enable passengers to use their mobile phones while on the move in time for the London Olympics 2012

London Mayor Boris Johnson has backed the move, but others fear it could lead to an increased risk of terrorism due to the fact that would mean devices could be detonated on the Underground.

According to the Sunday Times mobile transmitters would be installed along the ceilings of tunnels so that commuters can make and receive calls for the first time on the Underground.

Huawei is in talks with Thales, one of the Underground’s engineering contractors. One of the challenges will be to ensure that the transmitters do not lead to an increase in heat during the summer, when travel is already problematic due to high temperatures and lack of air conditioning.

According to reports, Vodafone and O2 have both agreed to pay for installation work while Huawei hope to make an income from maintenance fees.


The deal is expected to be finalised in April and it is thought that the Central, Jubilee and parts of the Piccadilly line will be ready in time for the 2012 Olympics. The service would then be further expanded in later months.


Also in the United Kingdom today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London. 

City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.

However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi.

London.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.

Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.

Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.

City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.