ESN Staff Test First London Underground Tube Calls
Thursday, August 01, 2019 | Comments

The U.K. Emergency Services Network (ESN) staff July 30 made the first call on a moving London Underground Tube train using a pre-production Samsung ESN device on the live ESN network provided by EE.

A call was made from a southbound Jubilee Line train as it traveled numerous times under the River Thames from Westminster Station to Waterloo. The Jubilee Line is one of the deep tubes and is significantly farther underground than other lines.

ESN staff said the calls were successful and clear, as expected using 4G VoIP, with numerous people reached quickly and conversations held as normal. Data streaming was also demonstrated and was fast and without interruptions. The demonstration was part of a predefined period of testing using real ESN devices on the ESN 4G network in London Underground. All of the devices could make 4G calls over the ESN network using a standard mobile phone dialer.

It was possible to dial any number from the devices, and those taking part in the test brought phone numbers of friends and colleagues who had been pre-primed to expect calls from an undisclosed number. Alongside ESN and the Operational Communication in Policing (OCiP) team members were representatives from London’s emergency services including the British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police Service and London Fire Brigade, who all also used ESN devices to test the network.

The handsets used in the demonstration used ESN subscriber identify module (SIM) cards.

TfL has been installing new radiating 4G infrastructure Underground to support the ESN service for the past 24 months, with 332 kilometers of radiating cable installed to date as well as 297 kilometers of fiber-optic cable. The same infrastructure will also support future commercial mobile services via a concession for which TfL is running a commercial procurement exercise.

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