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Wi-Fi, wireless service to reach more NYC subway stations

Phase Two of an ongoing rollout will push mobile access to several stations across midtown Manhattan before heading over to Queens.

Brian Bennett/CNET

More subway stations in New York City will get Wi-Fi and mobile service this year.

Wireless hardware provider Transit Wireless has unveiled the start of Phase Two of its wireless rollout project with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The new phase will start by setting up wireless service for 11 stations in midtown Manhattan, including Grand Central Terminal, 34th St. Herald Square, and Bryant Park.

From there, service will expand to Queens as construction of a Secure Base Station Hotel begins in March. That base station will provide a home for the necessary equipment from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint. The wireless carriers are providing the network components, while Boingo Wireless adds the Wi-Fi piece.

Scheduled to finish in June, Phase Two will provide almost 250 million annual NYC subway riders with Internet access, according to Transit Wireless.

"This is a huge benefit to all the visitors and tourists that come to New York City every day," Transit Wireless CEO William Bayne Jr. said in a statement. "We are not only extending our network to all underground stations in Queens and additional stations in Manhattan, we are setting the stage for future innovations that will provide riders with an enhanced experience in the New York City subway system."

Launched last year, Phase One of the project brought wireless access to 36 NYC subway stations. The existing Wi-Fi network saw 2.6 million connections and processed more than 60 terabytes of data in 2013, Transit Wireless said.

The ultimate goal of the project is to bring wireless service to all 277 of New York City subway stations by 2017.