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Mumbai Central becomes India’s first railway station with free Wi-Fi

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Mumbai: Mumbai Central Terminus of Western Railway on Friday earned the distinction of being the first railway station in India to offer free high-speed Wi-Fi to the public.

The facility – courtesy Google and RailTel, the telecom wing of Indian Railways – was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

He said plans were afoot to bring online 100 railway stations, including those at Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur and Ranchi, by 2016-end.

The Wi-Fi service is part of the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the union government and was announced in September 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Google headquarters in Mountain View in the US.

RailTel Corporation will provide Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fibre network in partnership with Google.

“Affordable smartphones have made it possible for the common masses to experience the power of Internet. With our partnership with Google, we are confident of rolling out a robust, scalable service at railway stations in the near future,” RailTel CMD R.K. Bahuguna said.

“By the year-end, over 10 million people will be able to enjoy Internet experience at 100 stations across India,” Google’s South East Asia and India vice president Rajan Anandan assured.

Google has committed to collaborate with RailTel and Indian Railways to expand the network to the remaining stations by the year-end, followed by another 400 railway stations thereafter. (IANS)

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Google and RailTail work together to make the project ‘Free WiFi for over 400 Indian Railway stations’ happen

RailTail claims that 6 million people use the WiFi network every month

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Free WiFi for over 400 Indian railway stations
Free WiFi at railway station. Wikimedia Commons
  • Google first announced a plan to install high-speed wifi at 400 Indian railway stations, in September 2015
  • The project went live in January 2016
  • As a part of the project, Google and RailTail work simultaneously 

New Delhi, August 3, 2017: Free WiFi for over 400 Indian Railway stations Is turning out to be a big hit, and what’s better is the fact that Google has claimed, of the WiFi coverage and capacity being better than that in London or San Francisco.

“If you compare this (quality of internet) with Wi-Fi in London and San Francisco, you will find that the Wi-Fi is better in both coverage and capacity,” said Gulzar Azad, the Country Head Connectivity at Google India, in an interview with India Today.

The internet, according to Azad is “dynamically configured” in a way that the user is able to run apps like WhatsApp and search pages even when a cap for high-speed is consumed after 30 minutes.

Google, first announced a plan to install high-speed wifi at 400 Indian railway stations, in September 2015. The plan was in support of prime minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign.

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It was in January 2016 that the project went live, with Mumbai Central station in India’s financial capital becoming India’s first railway station to provide free, high-speed WiFi.

RailTel Corporation of India, a mini-ratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways, has been tasked with providing fast WiFi, called RailWire, for passengers at A1 & A category railway stations across the country. For this, RailTel has tied up Google, the latter being a technology partner, mentioned the Financial Express report.

Also read: Google rolls out free WiFi service at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) station in Tamil Nadu

“Under this partnership, we had a target of completing 100 stations by the end of December 2016. Surpassing the target, we completed 110 stations by the end of 2016. We now have taken up a target of completing 200 stations by the end of 2017,” a RailTel spokesperson told FE Online.

As a part of the project, Google and RailTel are working simultaneously, with RailTel providing the power and fiber network structure for the project, and Google bringing in its expertise on the radio access network front and to enable user experience for mobiles, laptops and other WiFi enabled devices.

RailTail claims that 6 million people use the WiFi network every month.

People who pass through these stations every day now have an access to fast Internet speed to stream, research their destination or download a new book or game for the journey ahead, according to railways.

-by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Google terms Indian Railway’s WiFi as “the Biggest and Fastest public WiFi in the World”

115 railway stations have free WiFi which has benefited 15 lakh people

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New Delhi, Mar 10, 2017: 400 railway stations will be provided with free WiFi in the first phase, out of which 115 stations already have free WiFi, which has benefited 15 lakh people in the month of February, said Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister during the question hour.

These 400 stations were chosen on the criteria of volumes received at these stations. The Railways also intends to extend this service to running trains later, mentioned PTI.

RailTel Corporation, a subsidiary of the Railways has been entrusted with the execution of the WiFi service in all the 400 stations, without any fund allocation by the government.

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The use of WiFi at stations is being regulated by guidelines issued by the Department of Telecom. No website banned by DoT can be accessed and as of yet no case of violation of these guidelines has been reported.

Google- the provider of this service has termed it as, “the biggest and fastest public WiFi in the world”.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself