Vodafone quietly ditches free Wi-Fi on the Tube without telling users

People wearing protective face masks commute in a Victoria line underground train, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Londoners won’t be able to rely on Vodafone for free Wi-Fi on the Tube anymore (Getty)

Vodafone has quietly ditched one of its most useful free perks: complimentary Wi-Fi on the London Underground.

The service was withdrawn during lockdown, so any workers returning to the office in the coming months will find themselves unable to get online.

Vodafone’s decision only came to light when one puzzled customer queried why they were unable to connect to the network.

Assuming it was a technical issue, they contacted Vodafone on Twitter for assistance only to be given the following response:

‘We have taken the decision not to continue our WiFi service on the London Underground. We continue to supply 4G on the Jubilee Line between North Greenwich and Westminster as part of our partnership with London Underground.’

Several others have been given the same explanation.

A similar message now appears on Vodafone’s website:

‘We are no longer continuing our WiFi services on the London Underground. We will still continue to supply 4G on the Jubilee line between North Greenwich and Westminster and are continuing to invest our network above ground across London.

‘This includes improved coverage at key stations, including Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo in particular. Learn more about our investment in the Jubilee line.’

Internet connectivity on the Tube is handled by Virgin Media/O2 which operates the network. Many of the big phone providers have deals in place so they can offer access to their customers as a bonus.

As you would expect, Vodafone’s decision not to renew its contract hasn’t gone down well with customers.

As it stands, Vodafone customers will now be forced to pay for a pass to access the service, unless they’re travelling on the Eastern section of the Jubilee Line.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Vodafone for more information on why it decided to drop the service and will update this article if we receive a response.

London Underground’s Wi-Fi network was launched in 2012 and currently delivers coverage in stations but not in tunnels.

This week, London mayor Sadiq Khan pledged that 4G mobile signal would come to the Tube – but not until 2024.

Mr Khan said: ‘It’s already up and running on the eastern half of the Jubilee line and I’m delighted to announced today that I am fulfilling that commitment and full internet access will be available across the Tube, with key central London stations such as Oxford Circus and Euston set to benefit before the end of next year.’

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