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Metro To Introduce Cell Service In Subways Next Month

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Those of us who feel threatened by our 4G/LTE connected world have always been promised some moments of freedom from the incessant buzzing of irrelevant notifications when we take a ride on the subway. Deep in the Los Angeles underground, where there is no cell-service, our devices are only good for only some mindless games, and locally stored music.

At least they only will be until late March. Starting then, you'll be able to talk, text, and Tinder on the train when, according to KPCC, Metro will begin introducing cell-service in its subway tunnels and stations beneath downtown Los Angeles.

When that occurs, you’ll be able to ride aboard Red and Purple line trains going in either direction between Union Station and 7th Street/Metro Center while talking (or scrolling) on your phone, uninterrupted as the train travels beneath downtown. It also means that annoyingly loud person opposite you on the train will be able to do the same.

Metro has been working on this for a while. A memo issued in December of 2014 revealed the agency had signed a 20-year contract with InSite Wireless LLC to provide service in underground stations and tunnels.

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Although the memo provided a somewhat optimistic timeline, saying most trains would have service and stations Wi-Fi by January 2016 (the past), it does clarify that Metro is working to build service into its entire underground system.

When the network is finished, you’ll be able to use cellular voice and data aboard trains at all times, and latch on to Wi-Fi while you wait for trains at underground stations. While we’re not sure whether or not aboveground stations will eventually get Wi-Fi too, we’ve reached out to Metro and will update the post when we have an answer.

You’ve got to wonder, though, how loudly will you have to shout into your phone for your voice to be heard over the din of the train? Time will tell.