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Metro Expands Underground Wireless Network

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Dupont Circle is among 20 underground Metro stations with expanded wireless service.
Rebecca Sheir
Dupont Circle is among 20 underground Metro stations with expanded wireless service.

Savvy cell-phone users know you can use Verizon in underground Metro stations.Ditto with Sprint phones roaming onto the Verizon network. But try using AT&T or T-Mobile and no such luck.

Until now.

Metro has united with the four carriers to build a new wireless network, slated to debut tomorrow in 20 of Metro's busiest stations, including Dupont Circle, Judiciary Square and Pentagon City.

It's part of Metro's three-year deal with Congress, to secure $1.5 billion in federal funding. The agreement requires Metro to wire all underground stations by October 2010.

But eventually, the "Step back, doors closing" chimes won't be the only ringing tones you'll hear inside actual trains. Metro says it plans to expand wireless service to the entire Metrorail system -- tunnels included -- by 2012.

Rebecca Sheir reports...

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