Royal Caribbean Sponsors NYC Subway Wi-Fi Extension

More New Yorkers will soon be able to surf the Web and make calls while spending time in the subway. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday announced the extension of wireless and Wi-Fi service to 11 new stations in Manhattan and 29 more in Queens. Royal Caribbean International will sponsor free Wi-Fi at the stations through the end of 2014.

The latest rollout brings the total number of stations with wireless service to 76 and the completion of the second of seven phases of the MTA effort to wire all 277 underground stations by spring 2017. Work has already begun to bring another 39 stations online by spring 2015.

Among the new group of 40 stations getting connected by November are the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue, Jamaica Center and Court Square in Queens, and 34th Street Herald Square, 42nd Street Bryant Park and Grand Central in Manhattan.

Teaming with the MTA on the project is Transit Wireless along with wireless carrier partners AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. Royal Caribbean is sponsoring Wi-Fi service to subway riders in connection with the launch of the Quantum of the Seas, which will reach New York harbor in November.

What the company calls the world’s first “smartship,” will offer broadband speeds matching those on land, allowing guests to watch streaming video, check email, and have face-to-face video conversations even out at sea. Previous sponsors of subway Wi-Fi have included Google.

Starting today, people will see in-station signs about wireless and Transit Wireless Wi-Fi service. Riders will have to watch a short Royal Caribbean International video to access the free Wi-Fi service.

Phase III of the wireless subway project will include the Flushing Main Street station in Queens, and others in Lower Manhattan, West Harlem and Washington Heights. Major stations will include Fulton Street, 125th Street and the new 34th Street extension for the 7 train when it opens next year.

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