Verizon, Sprint and Skype users will get Wi-Fi in subway stations
Verizon and Sprint users will be getting Internet access in subway stations, but AT&T and T-Mobile will remain the only carriers providing underground cell service -- for now.
Boingo, a Wi-Fi provider commonly found at airports and hotels, announced a deal Thursday that would bring Internet service to city subway stations over the next five years. They will partner with Transit Wireless, which is providing the underground service and splitting fees they get from phone companies with the MTA.
Six stations already offer Wi-Fi and cellphone reception to AT&T and T-Mobile users, and 24 more will have those services by the end of the year. All 277 underground stations are expected to be wired by 2016.
Though the details are still sketchy, Boingo said Thursday that it has partnerships with Skype, Sprint and Verizon for their customers to get wireless service on train platforms. Verizon and Sprint did not return messages for comment regarding how many of their customers would be eligible for the service, or if they would be charged any additional fees.
People with other cell providers and people using tablets or e-readers can connect for a yet-to-be-determined fee, Boingo said.
The company said workers have already begun installing equipment for the subway service, but had no timeline for when it would be done or which stations would go live first.
Transit Wireless is still negotiating with Verizon, Sprint and MetroPCS to provide their customers cell and Wi-Fi service.