Wi-Fi service will soon be available throughout the downtown stations of the Yonge and University subway lines and riders will be able to access it free.

BAI Canada has begun work in establishing Wi-Fi access at Wellesley, College, Dundas and Union stations with completion expected by the spring of 2015 — in time for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games which are to take place in Toronto in July 2015.

Bloor-Yonge and St. George subway stations were the first two stations to get Wi-Fi capability in December 2013, said Ken Ranger, CEO of BAI Canada. Bay St. subway station now also has Wi-Fi capability, he said.

And the rest of the subway stops south of Bloor downtown as well as Spadina station will also have Wi-Fi capability by next spring, Ranger said.

Since the launch of the Wi-Fi service more than 200,000 unique users have accessed the network, he said. “We saw three terabytes of data go over the network in the two stations (Bloor-Yonge and St. George) in the month of June and that’s equivalent to data in a reference library,” said Ranger. “We’re a busy city. People want to be able to stay connected.”

But part of being connected includes cell phone use and so far no one is certain when that service might be up and running. The problem: no cell phone provider has yet come on board to provide texting and calling capability.

Ranger told the Star that BAI Canada is still in “different stages of discussion with different providers” for cell phone service inside the public areas of subway stations. “We’re very pleased with the progress to date and our partnership with the TTC . . . We understand that the riders would like cell service,” Ranger said.

At each subway stop BAI Canada, a division of Broadcast Australia Pty Ltd., is also putting in the infrastructure for cell phone service. “We’re moving forward and pleased with what’s happened to date,” said Ranger in an interview with the Star.

“But to provide cell service you need cell carriers. We’ve built the infrastructure. It’s available and ready.”

Tess Kalinowski reported late last year that the TTC had sent letters to the big service providers to encourage them to provide cell phone and text service.

Mayoralty candidate David Soknacki called into question on Tuesday the delays in providing cell phone service in the subway. He didn’t blame BAI, but rather the cell phone providers whom he said “refuse to play ball to allow for subscriber access, perhaps hoping to secure contract rights for themselves.”

To bring cell phone service to the subways the “City of Toronto must stand up for our right to pick a winning bidder” said Soknacki on his webpage.

If elected he plans to file a complaint with the Competition Bureau of Canada asking it to investigate wireless firm policy. He would also ask Council to extend the deadline for BAI’s contract to eliminate any chance that competitors could simply wait out the contract terms to their advantage.