Subway passengers in Tokyo will soon be able to use their mobile phones between the stations, as the three largest operators in the country announced in a joint statement they will start offering the new service from this week.
NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank said the first section to get coverage is a stretch from Shinjuku, a business and commercial district. Passengers will be able to use their mobiles to make calls and download data while travelling in the tunnels and in stations.
The service will be extended to several areas of the subway through the year.
The Tokyo subway, one of the largest such transport network in the world, has 13 lines and 274 stations.
The announcement that mobiles will be available for use in the subway worries some, who fear the end of one of the few “sanctuaries” in the city, so far protected by the phone invasion.
The three operators mentioned in their statement that subway passengers should “continue to observe the rules for using mobile phones, as they have in the past.”