CHINESE TELECOM VENDOR Huawei is looking to strike a deal with Transport for London to install a £50 million mobile network in the London Underground.
The phone network will be a £50 million 'gift', according to a report in the Sunday Times. Vodafone and O2 were mentioned as mobile networks that would pick up the bill for the installation work, while the Financial Times said Thales was also going to get involved, with the whole bill likely to cost more than £100 million.
The idea for a mobile network in the London Underground has been bandied about for many years, but the cost and difficulties in building it have always been too much of a hurdle. But London Mayor Boris Johnson made it a priority, fuelled by a desperation to make a good impression on the world in time for London Olympics 2012.
It might seem rather generous of Huawei, but it could be a good way for the company make a breakthrough into the UK market. The Chinese also have a sense of humour. "May you live in interesting times" is a famous Chinese curse, so remember that when you have people on either side of you talking loudly into their smartphones during a packed rush hour. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score