Extending its participation in India’s digitization journey, Tech giant Google launched free public WiFi at 400 Railway Stations in collaboration with RailTel. Around 400 railways stations in India now have access to high-speed public Wi-fi under the partnership of Google and RailTel, which provides broadband and VPN services.
The project was launched as a key initiative under government’s Digital India programme and the initiative, under Digital India programme began from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, but now Dibrugarh in Assam got the distinction to become the 400th station to avail WiFi facility, as per the statement of Google.
Within the first year of the project, 100 railway stations across India were Wi-fi enabled. In the last year and a half, around 300 new stations were added, with Dibrugarh becoming the 400th station to go live on Thursday in Assam as per the report.
Another thing which is noticed that majority of the users are in the 19-34 age group and over 35 percent of users on the network are first time Wi-Fi users, as per the report.
How Google layout the wireless infrastructure?
# Google designed and deployed the wireless infrastructure on top of the fiber optic network backbone in the station created by RailTel. RailTel is the telecom arm of Indian Railways.
# It was offered as a free utility service under the brand name ‘RailWire’. The service saw instant adoption by users as the project gained scale and momentum.
# Users can access free Wi-fi for thirty minutes in stations and it could be seen that a user on an average consumes 350 MB of data per session.
As part of the Next Billion Users initiative, Google is now building on the success of RailTel project to expand the public Wi-fi outside train stations, into Indian cities. Google Station, the public Wi-fi platform, is now also live in Pune.
Google is now concentrating on India’s digitization journey and with its cooperation, RailTel is exploring sustainable ways to provide Wi-Fi across all stations on Indian Railways and also spread high-speed connectivity to homes by the collaborative entrepreneurship model of RailWire.