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Starts & Stops

Verizon cell service debuts on the MBTA

Something miraculous is unfolding deep in the bowels of the MBTA subway system: Service has arrived underground — at least for Verizon users.

Over the past week, a gentle hum of tweets from riders noticing a mid-commute cellphone connection crescendoed into exclamations of  delight at uninterrupted service from Prudential to Park Street and from Kendall/MIT to Alewife.

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Many commuters first noticed it on the Green Line.

“Full 3G Verizon signal in Prudential #mbta station today,” wrote Twitter user @deadheadtyler on Oct. 16. “Hope it’s permanent!”

“You mean that there’s finally #Verizon service in the deepest depth of the #MBTA’s Green Line tunnels?” wrote @jinzilla20. “#ItsAboutTime.”

Then the cellphone waves hit the Red Line.

“I really dig this whole ‘Verizon data’ on the Red Line north of Charles,” wrote @jkatsalis. “A pleasant surprise every time.”

‘You mean that there’s finally #Verizon service in the deepest depth of the #MBTA’s Green Line tunnels?’

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I e-mailed Michael Murphy, a spokesman for Verizon, who tried to play it all cool like this wasn’t the biggest thing to hit the subway system since the CharlieCard: “I wouldn’t be surprised,” he wrote back, “if MBTA customers started recognizing new coverage in places they previously had not.”

Murphy said Verizon is holding off on making a formal announcement, but acknowledged that the company has been expanding wireless service to the Blue, Orange, Green, and Red lines after forging an agreement in July with the MBTA and InSite Wireless Group, a communications infrastructure company.

“The installation is still underway,” Murphy said. “We continue to add equipment, test, make adjustments and overlay new technologies.”

Murphy said Verizon will make an official proclamation about the extent of the new service once the whole project is completed.

Until then, score one for New Boston.

Martine Powers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @martine powers.
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