Indian Railways created history on Friday by launchingredients first free public Wi-Fi service at Mumbai Central station in collaboration with Google.
It now plans to replicate the same at 100 stations across the country by year-end.
“Affordable smartphones have made it possible for the common man 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,” Railtel Chairman and MD R.K. Bahuguna was quoted by the news agency PTI.
Google South East Asia and India VP & Managing Director Rajan Anandan said, “We are delighted to launch India’s first high-speed public Wi-Fi service in partnership with Indian Railways. By end of this year, over 10 million people will be able to enjoy this experience at 100 stations spread across the country.”
Google India Head of Access Project Gulzar Azad said, “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.”
Users can access Internet using this facility at an speed of 1 GBPS. The users will be required to submit their mobile numbers and can access high speed Internet but the speed will slow down after first hour of use to allow access to other users.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai had first his plan to roll out WiFi facility at 400 Indian stations during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley last year.
Google plans to launch this facility at 11 stations by the year end, while it will roll out similar facility at 300 other railway stations in 2017.
This is being described as a major breakthrough for Modi, whose discussion with the tech giant was instrumental for this project to come to fruition.