Saturday, December 15, 2012

Subway Tunnel Coverage

The Tokyo Metro has been boasting in its carriages that mobile coverage within the underground tunnels is being improved.

Those used to the subway in New York City or Washington D.C. are often impressed with the ability to get a signal in the stations.

Those from South Korea are spoiled: not only do they have cell coverage in the tunnels but many of the subway cars in Seoul have Wi-Fi.

The three men representing the signal bars are doing three different things with their phones in the tunnel: work, love, and play. I do two of those three things.

The small print warns that the cell usage in the trains should be data only, not done near the priority seats, and may be spotty in some areas.

Indeed, when I tried it out on the Chiyoda line, the reception was much better than usual, but I was unable to maintain a streaming video without interruptions in the dead middle of the tunnel.


  1. Osaka subway just this week added advertising signs telling us that there is coverage along the Midosuji line from Nakatsu to Honmachi (the northern part of the most traveled stretch in Osaka) and from Kujo to Sakaisuji-Honmachi along the Chuo line. My own experience as a commuter tells me this has been operational at least since early November.

  2. Toei is also building them out, though they will be slower to completion. Noticed on stretches of the Oedo Line that there was coverage between stations.

  3. Actually, along the lines I travel the Toei lines seem to be more complete than the Tokyo Metro lines. I've had steady service on the Oedo and Mita lines, while service on the Ginza, Tozai, and Hibiya lines.

    Here's a map showing Toei's progress thus far:
    And here’s a recent press release from Tokyo Metro:

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