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CTA plans cellphone service upgrade

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 8:35 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – The Chicago Transit Authority is moving ahead with a plan to upgrade wireless technology to provide continuous cellphone service in all subway tunnels.

Officials are seeking bids to install a network with 4G technology for Red and Blue Line subway tunnels. It's part of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA president Forrest Claypool's efforts to modernize the mass transit system.

The existing infrastructure dates to 2005 and is inadequate to meet current needs.

The CTA plans to award a contract for the work by summer, with work to begin this year.

CTA has 24 miles of tunnels on the Red and Blue Lines along with multiple underground passageways connecting rail lines and nearby buildings.

The CTA licenses its network to six carriers which provides $1.8 million in annual revenue.

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