Telecom pact to give Montreal subway riders wireless access

MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail

Sherbrooke Metro station in Montreal on Nov. 24, 2010. (John Morstad For The Globe and Mail)

Montreal’s Métro subway system is going wireless.

The city’s transportation agency and four cellular phone companies say they plan to build out an underground system to provide riders with full access to wireless services.

Telus, Rogers, Bell and Vidéotron will collaborate to install the system. The cost is estimated at about $50-million and it will take five to seven years to deploy the network throughout the entire subway system, Montreal’s transit agency and the four companies said in a joint news release Wednesday.

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The signal will be available in the cars, tunnels and stations and Montreal will become one of the few cities in the world whose subway has a 4G LTE mobile network, they said.

Deployment will take place over a five-phase period, with initial work scheduled for before the end of the year in two green-line stations, Place-des-Arts and Saint-Laurent.

“In the context of growing traffic and continued improvement of customer service, we warmly salute the arrival in Montreal’s Métro of Bell, Rogers, Telus and Vidéotron,” Michel Labrecque, chairman of the Societé de transport de Montréal .

About 900,000 people use the Montreal subway every day.

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