Vancouver’s Expo Line tunnel gets wireless service upgrade

What happened: Telus, Bell are now offering wireless coverage to customers in the underground portion of the Expo Line.

Why it matters: Commuters along the Canada Line have been able to get uninterrupted coverage for more than a decade.

article continues below

Some Vancouver commuters who bide their time on the Expo Line texting friends, listening to streaming music or playing mobile games might make for cheerier travel companions this week.

Telus announced Wednesday (Feb. 26) it’s deployed wireless service to the SkyTrain tunnel between Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront stations in downtown Vancouver.

Travellers have long been accustomed to hitting a data black hole as they enter the Dunsmuir tunnel during their trips.

Bell Canada, too, has deployed wireless service this week along the same stretch that also covers the Granville and Burrard stations, according to a report from iPhone in Canada.

Freedom Mobile Inc. has been offering coverage since 2018.

While the underground portion of the Canada Line has offered wireless coverage to commuters since its 2009 launch, the Dunsmuir tunnel was constructed decades before cellular coverage was a consideration.

Telus did not reveal the cost of the new infrastructure.

But the Vancouver-based company spent $2 million building the infrastructure throughout the Canada Line to support underground service.

Carriers such as Bell and Rogers Communications pay Telus to use the infrastructure.

But Wind Mobile — now known as Freedom Mobile — complained at the time those costs were too high.

It filed a petition in 2012 with the Canada Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requesting access to the tunnels to build its own infrastructure.

But by 2015, Wind Mobile eventually tapped into the Telus infrastructure along the Canada Line instead of building its own.

Shaw Communications Inc. announced in late 2015 it was buying Wind for $1.6 billion, eventually rebranding it as Freedom Mobile.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

Click here for original article.

Read Related Topics

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Richmond News welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus