A few weeks ago, the Toronto Transit Commission, in partnership with BAI Canada, soft-launched free WiFi called TCONNECT in two subway stations. We tested the reception at both locations — Bloor-Yonge and St. George — and obtained speeds of around 40Mbps.
The service is now officially live, and users can expect ads from partner brands Stride and Dentyne gum, Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, in addition to mobile news stories provided by HuffPost. BAI Canada won the contract over other Canadian wireless carriers and will pay the TTC $25 million over 20 years to install and operate the underground WiFi and cellular network.
Ken Ranger, COO of BAI Canada stated, “We were pleased at the success of the soft launch, and we look forward to expanding the reach of the WiFi and cellular infrastructure throughout the subway system in the future. Today marks the beginning of a new era for TTC customers. As we move into the next phase, we are excited to bring wireless and cellular infrastructure throughout the lower loop so Torontonians and visitors to Toronto can enjoy this enhanced experience in time for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games.”
Since the soft launch on November 25th, BAI stated in an interview with us that over 20,000 connections have been made to its WiFi service. BAI will bring bringing WiFi and cellular to all subway stations within four years, but next up will be Bay station near the Bloor line, then the lower loop stations.