Finally, some progress on the promise of cell phone subway service that riders have been hearing for years: The MTA just announced a 10-year deal this week with T-Mobile and AT&T that will provide cell phone and Wi-Fi service in four major Manhattan stations by the end of 2011.
That’s a year earlier than expected; the MTA originally planned to have the service in place by 2012.
Once installed, riders will be able to chat on the platforms as they wait for trains, the same as if they were above ground, said Chris Jaeger, CEO of Transit Wireless, the company that is installing the service.
As of now, only T-Mobile and AT&T customers will get a signal underground, but other carriers are expected to sign up.
The MTA hopes that all underground stations will have service by 2016.
“For too long, the subway system has been an information black hole in our lives,” said MTA chairman Jay Walder.