Optus, Telstra brings 3G signals to train tunnels in Sydney – now you can check Twitter while underground

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Image: adactio/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Sydney-siders will be able to connect to Optus and Telstra’s own mobile network today with the New South Wales government, in conjunction with the two telcos mentioned, announcing that mobile coverage has been extended to tunnels on two railway lines.

Stations in the North Shore and Western line, between Central and Chatswood, will be able to get full data and phove coverage – meaning users can now text, call or tweet while under the tunnels. The NSW Government has planned to further extend this for the City Circle tunnels in the CBD.

Vodafone customers, however, will be waiting for a couple of months – their equipment hasn’t been installed yet.

“Today marks an important step in delivering much-needed rail tunnel coverage to Sydneysiders as they travel around this beautiful city,” Optus Networks Managing Director Gunther Ottendorfer said in a statement. “Sydney customers have been waiting far too long to use this service and it is a testament to the Minister for Transport, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, that we are able to make this announcement today, who accelerated this project by making it a top priority.”

Well enjoy it while you can, because it will soon be congested – like the other towers around the CBD.

(Also as a Melburnian, I really don’t care because there is one tunnel – connecting Parliament, Melbourne Central and Flagstaff – and it’s like six minutes of a journey without a signal. That is not painful.)