Google yesterday announced a partnership with RailTel Corporation to set up high-speed Wi-Fi services at 400 railway stations across India. As a part of this agreement, Mumbai Central is said to be the first to boast Google’s Wi-Fi connectivity. of India have joined hands to equip 400 railways station in the country with high speed Wi-Fi networks, making it one of the largest public Wi-Fi projects in the world.
According to Economic Times, the services will start by mid-October, and it will be free for users for the first 30 minutes. For usage beyond the prescribed time, users will be charged, but the rates have not yet been revealed. Google promises high-speed connectivity with the ability to download a movie in just four minutes.
The Wi-Fi project was announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai over the weekend after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As per the plans, Google and RaiTel will offer high-speed connectivity in 100 railway stations initially, and then expand it to 300 more stations by next year.
“Railway stations being places of human aggregation of all sections of society are ideal places to bridge the digital divide. With high penetration of smartphones, the station Wi-Fi could become locations where people can get initiated into experiencing broadband and digital literacy,” said A. Seshagiri Rao, Director/ Network Planning and Marketing of RailTel.
Railtel has built over 45,000 km of optic fibre network across the railways network in India, connecting over 4,500 cities and towns and over 5,000 railway stations in the country. It is looking to monetize its fiber network through partnerships with telecom operators.