Exemplifying that connectivity really is key, Vodafone customers will now be able to access 4G inside all terminals, trains and tunnels. Making up a staggering 78 million passengers that take off and land at Heathrow each year, which is a substantial percentage of passengers, Vodafone boasts that it won’t just be the airport passengers that will reap the benefits of the major network improvements; six million of the annual users of Heathrow Express will also enjoy the luxury of connectivity too, though the term ‘luxury’ is used loosely.
The new Vodafone system sets to provide customers high quality voice connections and faster mobile data speeds throughout the airport’s terminals, even on days when more than a quarter of a million people could be passing through. Vodafone says that travellers will be able to quickly reply to emails, download business presentations or update their social media status, giving them more time to relax and ensuring they never miss important emails or calls.
The airport plans to have the latest technology across the 1,227-hectare site, with engineers working through the night to avoid any disruption to passengers. As well as this, 4G coverage is currently being extended along the eight kilometres of tunnels connecting the airport’s terminals. The company says travellers on Heathrow Express trains will also enjoy uninterrupted voice and data on any of the 150 services which run every day to and from London Paddington station.
Vodafone UK’s chief technology officer Scott Petty, says, “Heathrow is an extremely important hub for our millions of customers worldwide, whether they are travelling on holiday or on business. This major improvement is part of our multi-billion investment programme to build our strongest UK network. It will give customers great coverage from the moment they step on or off their flight, to traveling on the Heathrow Express.”
John Arbuckle, head of property at Heathrow, adds, “This update, in partnership with Vodafone, is another step towards ensuring a seamless experience for passengers, as well as secure connectivity for business partners across the airport.”
Fraser Brown, Heathrow Express director, explains, “Heathrow Express may be the fastest way to reach Heathrow from central London, but customers still want to use this 15 minutes to call colleagues, family or friends on the go. These upgrades mean passengers can stay connected with uninterrupted coverage on board our services through the tunnels and into Heathrow.”