In roughly a month, stations and trains in the underground section would get mobile phone connectivity. If CMRL (Chennai metro rail limited) sources are to be believed, network coverage would be made available on the 8 km stretch from late August or early September. CMRL had set a three-month deadline when it inaugurated the maiden underground metro service on May 14.
A senior CMRL officer requesting anonymity told DTNext that fixing of antennas and cables in the tube would require another three to four weeks. “Work is being done only for three hours daily. Workers are able to access the tunnels and stations to fix antennas and cables only after the last train service ends and closure of stations,” the officer explained attributing the delay to non-availability of the tunnels for undertaking works. Though relatively economic, lack of mobile connectivity has been a deterrent to Chennai metro despite it providing speedy and relatively economic commute to the city airport.
Provision of mobile connectivity could mark the beginning of introduction of free wi-fi service on the trains and stations by CMRL, which is understood to have set December 2017 as deadline to introduce free wi-fi at its stations followed by trains. Bengaluru and Delhi metros already have a functional wi-fi facility at their stations, however, they have yet to extend it to their trains.