Because almost no one can be caught waiting for anything these days without passing the time on their smartphone, those who ride Sound Transit will be pleased to hear that cell service is coming to the transit network’s Seattle tunnels.
In a partnership with Mobilitie, a wireless infrastructure provider, Sound Transit announced it is installing a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) that will allow train riders to use cell phones while traveling underground.
The network has been under construction since earlier this year, Sound Transit says, and a phased rollout began this week. The first section to open will be tunnels between downtown Seattle’s Westlake Station and the University of Washington, including Capitol Hill Station and University of Washington Station.
Later this year, tunnel service between the International District/Chinatown Station and Westlake Station will open up, and in 2017, service will come to the Beacon Hill tunnel.
T-Mobile customers will be the first to have cell access between the University of Washington and Westlake. Verizon and AT&T customers are scheduled to have access next month, with Sprint coming soon.
According to Sound Transit’s rider guide on its website, some Sounder cars are already equipped with wi-fi access.