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Cell Phone Service Arrives At Some NYC Subway Stations

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Subway passengers use their mobile devices underground - New York, NY - Sep 27, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Subway passengers use their mobile devices underground (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cell phone service arrived in the New York City subway system Tuesday.

It’s not system-wide yet. AT&T and T-Mobile service is now available at:

  • 23rd Street on the C & E platform
  • The 6th & 8th Avenue L Stops
  • 14th Street, at the 1, 2, 3, F, M, C, E and A stops.

AT&T and T-Mobile signed 10-year contracts to provide cell and Wi-Fi service through a network being built by Transit Wireless.

1010 WINS’ John Montone asks are you ready for annoying ringtones?

Other carriers are still negotiating deals.

All underground stations are expected to be wired by 2016, but trains were not expected to have service between stations.

Bringing cell phone service into the subways should eliminate crowding near the entrance of the station to check for service. But it will also bring with it additional headaches: Unwelcome ringtones and conversations being had by neighbors.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks on the perks of subway cell service

“Already above ground people are loud and obnoxious having arguments with their spouses and what not,” straphanger Robert Samuel said. “If you could do it downstairs and just be courteous to your fellow passengers I think it will be a great thing.”

There’s also a security concern: Cell phones can be used to detonate explosives.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond: Not All Providers Are Working

The cell phone service begins as the NYPD reports a spike in crime in the subway system, with thieves more actively targeting people using electronic devices like iPhones.

What’s your reaction to cell phone service in the subway system? Are you for or against it? Sound off in our comments section.

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