The future, we’re told, will be a fantastic place where cell phones will work on the subways, eliminating that infuriating time of day when portals to all relevant culture are wretched from the hands of New Yorkers. And if Transit Wireless — the firm saddled with the responsibility of making the dream a reality — is as flush with cash as it supposedly is, this future could arrive as early as late 2011. In little over a year, your cellphone could actually work on the subway.
But, naturally, the iPhone users must be attended to first. Off The Rails, the subway-centric corner of The New York Times‘ City Room blog, reports that AT&T has signed on with Transit Wireless, thus confirming that as soon as the firm completes the installation of this far-out technology, iPhones will get service underground. AT&T is currently the only provider catering to iPhone users.
T-Mobile has also jumped on the subway cell service bandwagon, Off The Rails says, but there’s no word from the other network juggernaut, Verizon.
MTA chairman Jay H. Walder confirmed that the two carriers will partner with Transit Wireless, but had no word on the accuracy of the proposed timetable. In fact, he could only speak to the “reality” of the project, and said this news is “further proof” of that reality. Reassuring.