Taking the subway is part of so many Torontonians daily routines, whether you're travelling a stop or two over, or sitting underground for a whole trip across the city. Daily commutes are very normal when you live in the GTA and can even be considered a rite of passage when you first move to Toronto.
For those who suffer through the daily commute, it's regular knowledge that when you're underground there is no cell phone service. Getting a text or phone call is impossible unless you belong to one provider in particular.
While it was implemented eight months ago that Torontonians who use Freedom Mobile would have cell service underground, the remainder of Canada's mobile brands hasn't shown interest in providing service on the TTC. Freedom Mobile is only available in Ontario, Alberta, and BC, with just over a million customers and owned by Shaw Communications Inc.
Other services like Bell, Rogers and Telus, known as the "Big Three" providers, haven't made moves to get their service in the subway. But why?
BAI Canada won a contract back in 2012 to build the underground network. Ken Ranger, the chief executive officer at the company told The Globe and Mail that they're excited about the opportunity to create a network with the Big Three, they just haven't heard anything.
To add insult to injury, Montreal's subway service allows cellphone users to connect to 3G, 4G and 4G LTE networks on multiple lines. That's because the companies were able to work together to build a system.
Considering the TTC has over 700,000 daily riders, the opportunity to have cell phone service while commuting underground would be a total gamechanger. Especially for those who could use the extra data on their way into work every morning.
Marc Choma, a BCE spokesperson who represents Bell, says that their phone service would be interested in expanding underground, but have previously been denied access to do so.
TTC communications advisor, Hayley Waldman, also told The Globe and Mail that there is something concerned Torontonians can do about lack of cell service. "TTC riders should get in touch with their service providers and encourage them to take advantage of the existing infrastructure," she said, especially because they would love all riders to have the same privilege.
One thing is for sure, Torontonians deserve better service while underground and it seems like it's up to them to get it. Phone providers won't make meetings until customers like you actually bother them to make the change.
Here's hoping that the major networks start getting it together and help us respond to messages sooner, rather than later.
Source: The Globe and Mail