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London Underground Trials BT Wireless Web Service

London Underground and BT Group Plc will start a six-month trial next week offering subway passengers Wi-Fi service at Charing Cross station.

The service, due to start Nov. 1, will give travelers wireless access in the station and allow them to connect devices such as smartphones and Apple Inc.’s iPads. Wi-Fi will be available in the ticket hall area of the station and on the Northern and Bakerloo line platforms, though not on trains, London Underground said in a press statement today.

“An ever-growing commuter populous has been clamoring to be able to check their e-mails and browse the Internet whilst on the go,” Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport adviser, said in the statement. “This trial will allow them to do just that.”

The service, which will include live London travel updates, will be free for some BT customers and will also be accessible to users of other networks. The trial service is being funded by BT and won’t draw on London Underground funds.

BT, the U.K.’s largest fixed-line phone company, may expand the service, depending on the results of the trial and further discussions with London Underground, Marjorie Leonidas, head of wholesale and international roaming at BT OpenZone, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

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