No Phones on the Tube, Hooray.

Plans to wire up London’s tube network for mobile reception in time for the 2012 Olympics have been shelved.

The scheme was shelved because someone who actually has a rudimentary grasp of  numbers looked at it and realised that it was going to cost a truly  astronomical amount of money.

No official figure was released but apparently the £50 million offered by Chinese telecom giant Huawei wasn’t even enough to get the ball rolling.

Some people are disappointed that Olympic tourists will have to go without mobile reception for a tiny fraction of their time in our capital , but you have to ask if the minor inconvenience of having no reception for a short tube journey is worth spending money on.

Last time I went on the tube, the respite from calls, texts and emails was a welcome opportunity to read a book.  I was lucky, I travelled off peak and got a seat, but rush hour travel on the tube is horrendous and I can’t help think it would be all the more so if mobile phones worked.

Standing on an overcrowded tube train with someone’s armpit in your face and the combined tinny cacophony of twenty nearby iPods is bad enough. Do we really need to hear other people’s phone calls too?

So for once, common sense and fiscal responsibility have won out over Olympics hysteria. Savour the moment.

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