On my way to the Summer Palace on Line 4 this morning I was surprised to find a strong 3G signal throughout the length of the journey from Xidan, in the centre, to Beigongmen, North Palace Gate.
This was not just any old patchy cellular reception but good, strong, five-bar 3G stuff without any degradation. 3G is not available on other lines I have tried, although I haven’t been on all of them. I could get used to this and will miss it sorely when I get back to London tomorrow.
Readers will remember that Chinese company Hauwei offered to bring 3G to the entire London Undergound network and swallow the £50m tab as a gift from one Olympic host to another. Unfortunately red flags were raised by politicians who suggested this might be some kind of Chinese trojan horse. Sadly, the offer was declined.
After experiencing the reality this morning on Line 4 I’m beginning to think the politicians made the wrong decision. Meanwhile, Beijing forges ahead and is starting to install wifi on metro lines. London is “hoping” to have cellular reception for the Olympics, but only on main stations.