When it rains, it pours. As anyone who takes Big Apple public transit can tell you, the days of the brief underground reprieve from wireless are mostly behind us -- in many parts of Manhattan, at least. But if you doubted that the rest of the 100-year-old transit system would be getting some love, let Sprint lay those concerns to rest. The carrier announced this morning plans to bring service to the whole map -- that's 277 underground stations in all, bringing coverage to Sprint, Boost and Virgin Mobile subscribers. Folks on those networks will be getting service in 36 Manhattan stations early next year, followed by 40 more in that borough and Queens.
Transit Wireless and Sprint Sign Definitive Deal to Bring Wireless Service to All 277 Underground Subway Stations in New York
Transit Wireless and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that the companies have finalized their contract to bring Sprint's wireless voice and data service to the state-of-the-art wireless network in the New York City subway system. Sprint has signed on to the full scope of the project – all 277 underground subway stations. Wireless customers of Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile can expect to begin receiving coverage underground in the 36 stations already online in mid-town Manhattan and Chelsea by early 2014.
"Soon, a new large set of people will get access to the benefits of having wireless service in the New York City subway system," said William A. Bayne Jr., CEO of Transit Wireless. "Bringing on a carrier like Sprint not only serves a wide range of consumers, but also thousands of government agency personnel and first responders who have depended on their reliable service for years."
"As we build out our new network, adding the vast underground New York City subway system brings a whole new level of connectivity to our customers, whether they're consumers, public safety representatives, first responders or city workers," said Greg O'Connor, vice president of engineering at Sprint. "We look forward to providing an enjoyable connected experience for the 1.65 billion visitors and straphangers who ride the NYC subway annually."
Sprint will soon begin to install their equipment in Transit Wireless' secure Base Station Hotel facilities to bring 3G and 4G LTE service to the 30 stations recently wired in April 2013, including Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle as well as the initial six in Chelsea, which went online in September 2011. The company will next participate in Phase 2 of the project, which comprises 40 new stations, including Grand Central Station, 34th St. Herald Square and Bryant Park in mid-town Manhattan and stations throughout the Borough of Queens. Phase 2 is expected to be completed in early 2014.
"Bringing wireless service into the New York City subway has been a big step forward for our customers, and we're pleased that even more of them will be able to take advantage of it," said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. "The ability to make and receive phone calls underground is an important improvement for safety and security as well as convenience, and our customers will certainly appreciate it."