IPG Media Lab visited Transit Wireless’ press conference event today, during which they announced the launch of Phase II of its plan to bring mobile connectivity to the New York subway system. Wireless and WiFi connectivity has now been added to 40 stations—29 in Queens, and 11 in Manhattan (including Times Square and Grand Central). Partner carriers supplying connectivity will include AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, while Royal Caribbean will sponsor free WiFi until the end of the year.
Added productivity won’t be the only benefit: Transit Wireless partnered with the MTA to provide dedicated health and safety lines in case of emergency. Additionally, partners will be able to distribute content over the new networks, which means access to millions of commuters.
It’s unclear who is bankrolling the rollout, which is scheduled for completion by 2018. Either way, it’s free WiFi for Manhattanites and Queens residents, with Brooklyn and the Bronx to come soon. But a quick etiquette note: try not to talk on the phone on the train.