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Default Free wifi on the London Underground for EE and Vodafone prepaid customers - 04-03-2013, 19:21

Although the London Underground still has no mobile phone coverage, Virgin Media started providing free wifi on the Tube just before the 2012 Olympics. Since January 2013 it became a chargeable service, except for EE and Vodafone customers who continue to receive it at no additional charge. The following prepaid customers qualify:
  • EE (including Orange and T-Mobile): "Pay as you go customers are eligible too, as long as your account has been topped up with a minimum of 5 within the last 30 days". Previously EE prepaid customers needed only to make or receive a call every 30 days in order to qualify, but this was probably tightened up because of potential abuse by those who were not genuinely active customers. To register, text EEWIFI to 9527 to request a password, which can then be used to log in after connecting to the wifi network. Up to three devices can be registered per customer - useful if you're a temporary visitor and know an EE customer with only one device.
  • Vodafone: "Pay as you go customers with internet as part of their plan". To register, simply log into your Vodafone online account after connecting to the wifi network.
You don't need the relevant SIM card in your phone while you're using the service. After logging in for the first time, your device is recognised on subsequent visits by its MAC address, although port 80 (HTTP) is blocked each time until you load a welcome page in a web browser.

The service does not cover the train tunnels, only stations including ticket halls, escalators, passageways and platforms. While travelling on a train, you regain service every time the train stops in a station, so texting on iMessage and Whatsapp works very well. The bandwidth is impressive in most places; the fastest I've seen is just over 40Mbps downstream and upstream.
   
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Default 05-05-2013, 15:19

O2 has now joined this, leaving Three as the only non-virtual UK network to be excluded. See O2's press release which points out that O2 monthly contract customers (but not yet business or prepaid customers) can use the wifi to make and receive calls on the Tube on their O2 mobile number thanks to O2's new VOIP app, TU Go.
   
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Default 31-05-2013, 08:38

BBC News - Tube tells the clumsy: please mind the mobiles
   
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