Cellphone service coming to NYC subway stations


Of all the places we'd like better cellphone service, the New York subway system ranks pretty high on the list. It's not that we want to hold conversations down in that endless maze of tunnels; somehow, we don't think we'd be able to hear much over the endless din of inscrutable service announcements, Central American musicians and random insane screamers. But the idea of being able to send text messages or catch up on news during those interminable waits is very appealing — especially if when our train is delayed and we need to fill in our peeps. So, it's good to know New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is requesting proposals from cellphone providers for exclusive rights to wire the city's stations and platforms (no service is planned in the tunnels or trains themselves). Verizon, Cingular, Sprint and T-Mobile are all considering bidding on the contract which could be worth as much as $100 million over 10 years. The winning bidder would have to open their subway net to other providers, but could charge roaming fees. We've gotten used to not paying those, but we just might be willing to hand over a few cents per connection just to be able to check our mail while we're down in the tube station at midnight.