Channel Tunnel has 3G mobile phone reception (and it'll have 4G soon)

Stay connected with mobile internet all the way to France from England - but only if you're on EE, O2 or Vodafone - as 3G coverage comes to the Channel Tunnel, soon to be joined by superfast 4G…

Eurotunnel trains whizz from England to France in 35 minutes, but until this week forced passengers into exile from Facebook and phone calls for the duration of their trip.

Thankfully, after the recent installation of network equipment to provide 2G and 3G mobile signal, you can now continue to use the internet on your phone - as well as making calls and sending texts - until you flip over to a French network.

It's the result of a joint effort between the Channel Tunnel's train operator Eurotunnel and Vodafone, EE and O2. It would appear the UK's other major mobile network, Three, decided to give this particular party a miss, so its customers will still face a mobile blackout in the Chunnel.

Vodafone, EE and O2 plan to also offer 4G from Kent to Coquelles in the near future.

Eurotunnel said: "Our passengers will be able to make calls throughout their crossing at a quality equivalent to a wireless call made in London, Paris or elsewhere.

"The provision of a wireless mobile service broadcasted from the frontier point, 100m below sea level, as Eurotunnel does for the 20 million people who travel through the Channel Tunnel each year, is a feat unequalled in the world today."

To be more specific, it's a feat unequalled except for on Le Shuttle trains darting in the opposite direction - carrying passengers from France to England - which have offered mobile coverage since the start of the London 2012 Olympics.

The only difference this time around is that it's UK networks helping to foot the bill, chipping in £5million between them, unlike the homeward-bound Chunnel that's serviced by French operators Alcatel-Lucent, Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom.

A word of warning, though - for the avoidance of any doubt, what we're talking about is an extension of your mobile network's coverage, which means using your mobile data allowance, as opposed to leeching free megabytes as with Wi-Fi.

And when you ride the Channel Tunnel back from France to England, it's a French network you'll be using, so, unless you've turned off 'roaming', or you've paid for a set amount of data upfront, there's a risk of extra charges appearing on your bill.

Luckily, nowadays there're tons of ways to make sure you don't get burnt using your mobile on the continent. For instance, EE pay-monthly plans include roaming calls and texts, and European data add-ons are available.

O2 offers similar bolt-ons for £1.99 a day and Vodafone EuroTraveller allows you to use the calls, texts and data from your tariff anywhere in Europe for £2 extra a day.

Click here for more mobile, TV and internet news

Suggested Pages

  • SIM-only vs contract phone plans: Which one should I choose?

  • The best Samsung Galaxy S9 pre-order deals today

  • BT Mobile launches 6GB-per-month plans

  • EU finally puts an end to roaming charges

  • Three now lets you call and text over Wi-Fi

  • England, Scotland and Wales flags to become emoji

  • Which? campaigns for better mobile deals, no more locked handsets

  • New LG G3 metal-bodied smartphone revealed

  • O2’s new ‘Big Bundle’ 4G Pay & Go plans launch this week

  • Vodafone throws in Netflix with new 4G call plans

  • Features are fine, but battery life is best say 89% of Brits

  • EE shows off new 4G Mi-Fi devices and ‘UK’s most affordable tablet’