Making high-speed Internet available to millions of Indians who travel through railway stations every day, the Indian Railways’ arm RailTel which provides Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fiber network, announced the launch of free high-speed public Wi-Fi service in partnership with Google at Mumbai Central. The project was announced last September during Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Google headquarters in Mountain View.
Google has committed to work with Indian Railways’ and RailTel to expand the network quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations by end of this year and will eventually roll out the service in 400 railway stations across India. Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available to millions of Indians - who pass through railway stations every day, making it the largest public Wi-Fi project in India and among the largest in the world by number of potential users.
Designed to offer users the best Internet experience, Railwire Wi-Fi will be available to any user who has a working mobile connection on a smartphone. Users will be able to easily stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or save some videos for offline viewing, download a book or a new game for the journey.
Commenting on the launch, Chairman and Managing Director of Railtel Shri R. K. Bahuguna
of Railtel said, “Our intent was to fulfill Indian Railway’s vision of providing Railway passengers access to high speed Internet through our Optical fiber communication network. Affordable smartphones have made it possible for the common men to experience the power of Internet. With our partnership with Google, we are very confident of rolling out a robust, scalable service at Railway stations in the near future.”
Speaking at the launch, Rajan Anandan, VP & Managing Director, Google South East Asia and India said, “We’re delighted to launch India’s first high speed public Wi-Fi service in partnership with Indian Railways. Bringing affordable Internet access to millions of people is an important part of making the Internet both easily accessible and useful for more than 300 million Indians who are already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not. By end of this year over 10 million people will be able to enjoy this experience at 100 stations spread across the country. I would like to thank the Indian Railways for their support and vision to provide a world class high speed public Wi-Fi network at the stations.”
“We’ve focussed on delivering a network that is at par with the high speed public Wi-Fi network that is available to users in developed countries. The network is built for wide coverage and high capacity usage unlike a typical Wi-Fi hotspot which offers connectivity in limited area and poor experience. This network will extend to cover both long distance train station and the local train station in Mumbai Central. The next four stations we’ll bring online will be Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur and Ranchi and others will follow very shortly, said, Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Project, Google India”
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