San Fran Transbay Tube riders can now yak it up even further underground thanks to expanded wireless coverage.

by Mike
Posted December 22nd, 2009 at 7:23 am

It’s kind of unfitting for a tech guru such as myself, one who loves all kinds of lights, sounds, gadgets, and gizmos to live in a land full of nothing but corn and cattle. In short: it sucks. To get my digital/big city fix I have to venture roughly 85 miles west to Chicago. Not really that long of a commute, but still enough to make me want to move. There is however one small issue with big cities — cellphone service/reception isn’t always the greatest due to the extreme amount of stacked concrete all around as well as the increased density of cellphone users whom place greater strain on the network. One other big obstacle of big cities: subways.

San Fransisco is one such city where subways, hills, and buildings make for an unsettling cellular experience. But that experience just received a big boost today with the announcement that the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will now offer wireless access throughout the Transbay Tube. All the way from West Oakland BART Station to Balboa Park, users traveling in underground in the subway can yak/text/browse it up all while being 6+ feet under.

The best part about the whole ordeal is that favorites are not played. AT&T, MetroPCS, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers can all benefit form the underground cellular coverage making everyone’s commute a bit less boring.

It’s worth noting that subway coverage has been offered as early as 2001. The amount of coverage however wasn’t as large as it is now. To date, 35% of the underground subway maze is now saturated with wireless goodness with continued projects in 2010 further increasing the underground network’s range.

In case you were wondering, 2010 will see the following rollouts:

  • First Quarter 2010: Oakland WYE, 12th, 19th and Lake Merritt Stations
  • Second Quarter 2010: Ashby, Berkeley, North Berkeley Stations and connecting tunnels
  • Third Quarter 2010: Berkeley Hills Tunnel
  • 2011 and beyond: South San Francisco, San Bruno and connecting tunnels.

Anyone in the Bay area care to share a little as to the underground experience?


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