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View Full Version : Do mobile phones work on the subway?



Lauram6123
04-09-2014, 09:12 PM
I was wondering if cell phones could get a signal down there in the tunnels.

JoeHill
04-09-2014, 09:19 PM
I was wondering if cell phones could get a signal down there in the tunnels.

Mobile phones work in the Moscow metro. Don't ask me why though.

King Neptune
04-09-2014, 09:19 PM
Some subways and road tunnels have cell phone antennae inside them, but without the equipment cell phones do not work in subways.

asroc
04-09-2014, 09:21 PM
They do on ours, but the carriers specifically set it up that way. Before they expanded their service the reception was bad to nonexistent.

amergina
04-09-2014, 09:24 PM
I was wondering if cell phones could get a signal down there in the tunnels.

Signals from the outside generally don't reach, but they can "wire" a subway for cell phone signals (as it were).

But that's system-specific. You probably need to do some research for the particular subway you're interested in knowing about.

Lauram6123
04-09-2014, 09:36 PM
Signals from the outside generally don't reach, but they can "wire" a subway for cell phone signals (as it were).

But that's system-specific. You probably need to do some research for the particular subway you're interested in knowing about.

I'm writing a short story about a generic ride on the subway. I've spent most of my subway riding days in Boston (the T) but I couldn't really remember if cell phones would work in the tunnels.

So since my story takes place in a unnamed city, I guess I just really needed to know if it was even possible for another passenger to be chatting on their cell phone during a ride. It sounds like it would be.

Thanks all who responded so quickly!

JoeHill
04-09-2014, 09:59 PM
I'm writing a short story about a generic ride on the subway. I've spent most of my subway riding days in Boston (the T) but I couldn't really remember if cell phones would work in the tunnels.

So since my story takes place in a unnamed city, I guess I just really needed to know if it was even possible for another passenger to be chatting on their cell phone during a ride. It sounds like it would be.

Thanks all who responded so quickly!

Ah, the T is a fine subway system.

Bing Z
04-09-2014, 11:39 PM
So since my story takes place in a unnamed city, I guess I just really needed to know if it was even possible for another passenger to be chatting on their cell phone during a ride. It sounds like it would be.

AFAIK, cell phones don't yet work in the New York City subway system (underground stations and tunnels). So anything in your story resembling that system (eg a dude wearing a Yankee cap or a woman carrying a cronut bag) might cause trouble.

cornflake
04-09-2014, 11:51 PM
AFAIK, cell phones don't yet work in the New York City subway system (underground stations and tunnels). So anything in your story resembling that system (eg a dude wearing a Yankee cap or a woman carrying a cronut bag) might cause trouble.

They do in some stations now; the city has been rolling out more and more.

thothguard51
04-09-2014, 11:55 PM
My Verizon phone does...

robjvargas
04-10-2014, 01:31 AM
Chicago had a bid process for carriers to put microcells in the underground portions of its public transit system.

So the answer to a generic question is a big, hardy, "maybe yes, maybe no!"

Quickbread
04-10-2014, 02:41 AM
In Chicago, you can sometimes get phone reception, depending on where you are underground, but there's no data signal, even on the platforms.

More specifically, yes, I've received calls while underground and reception is fine. Sometimes they get cut off though. :)

wendymarlowe
04-10-2014, 07:12 PM
Also worth noting that not all subways actually stay underground. If they're crossing rivers or the like, many sections of subway may come up aboveground for stretches.

(Not to mention the El in Chicago, which is entirely up in the air . . .)

Hilary1
04-13-2014, 12:23 PM
From experience, the majority of the time, yes.

L M Ashton
04-15-2014, 02:43 PM
In Singapore, yes, absolutely, whether the train is above ground or below.

Torgo
04-15-2014, 02:51 PM
Not on the London Underground - yet. There has been some talk of putting signal repeaters in down there, but I suspect it'd only work in the stations, not the tunnels. We have Wifi in a lot of stations at the moment, so you could conceivably do VOIP calls?

Debbie V
04-16-2014, 02:20 AM
I've seen folks talking to their phones in NYC stations. Pretty sure I've used mine in Penn, though on the LIRR.

I want to say I've seen folks use phones in Philly too.

Texting may work where calls don't go through. Just a thought.

WeaselFire
04-20-2014, 10:20 AM
I was wondering if cell phones could get a signal down there in the tunnels.
Annoyingly, yes.

Jeff

Chris P
04-20-2014, 10:34 AM
I know they have for about ten years on the DC and Atlanta subways, or at least AT&T did.

ETA: On second thought, I'm not so sure about Atlanta. I can't think of when I'd been on it since I started using a cell phone.