There’s no indication that the London bombings were set off by some sort of remote signal. There is no cell phone coverage in most of the London underground.
I know there are some spots on the Circle Line (particularly in the shallow tunnels around Baker Street) where a signal occasionally penetrates, but because of the depth of the tunnels involved, particularly in the Piccadilly Line bomb, timers are the more likely trigger.
That hasn’t stopped others from worrying about mobile phone technology as a possible enabler of terrorism.
Still, the New York City subway has disabled mobile phone transmitters in its tunnels. Federal law enforcement agencies in the United States are worried that in-flight broadband connections on aircraft could be used to coordinate hijackings and therefore want the right to snoop on such connections.
I’m sure there will be similar worries about in-flight mobile phone networks now under development.
Somewhat off topic, another article about the potential terrorist uses of wireless gadgetry, the IHT also spots some interesting statistics about the spike in texting in Britain on Thursday that certainly resemble my experience:
… about three times more text messages were sent by mobile phone to and from Britain on Thursday after the bombings than on a normal day, according to statistics from Mobile 365, a messaging interconnection company based in Chantilly, Virginia.
Thus, while many mobile phone connections failed to get through because of the crush of calls on Thursday morning, text messages often made contact, telecommunications and law enforcement authorities said.
From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the hour of the bombings, international text traffic into and out of Britain rose 2.75 times over the like hour the previous day, Mobile 365 said. In the 9 a.m. hour, there were 5.6 times as many, and in the hour after 10 a.m., there were four times as many.
Text traffic stayed at least three times as high through 2 p.m., compared with the previous day, and stayed at least twice as high through 6 p.m., the company said.