Google and RailTel on Friday announced that its free Wi-Fi service for Indian railway stations has been rolled out to nine new stations across the country. The search giant added the service will be formally inaugurated by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu soon.
To recall, Google had launched its free Wi-Fi service at Mumbai Central in January this year, and plans to roll out the facility to 100 stations by the end of 2016, and to 400 stations eventually.
With Friday’s announcement, Google has launched its free Wi-Fi service in 10 railway stations across India. These are Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Ernakulum Jn (Kochi), Kacheguda (Hyderabad), Mumbai Central, Pune, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, and Vishakhapatnam.
Google in an emailed statement said the service, which is built over the fibre network of Raitel, is designed to offer a high-speed broadband experience to users. The company added it is committed to work with Indian Railways and RailTel to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi network that will be available to 10 million Indians a day by the end of the year.
“The network is now live in ten key stations across the country and we are scaling up our efforts to roll out the network quickly to cover some of smaller stations where connectivity is much more limited. As Internet adoption grows in India, easy and affordable access to high-speed networks is the real need of the hour. With 100 stations live, this project will be the largest publicly accessible high speed Wi-Fi network in the country, but our real hope is that this project will set new benchmarks in delivering a reliable and consistent network connectivity in the country,” said Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Project, Google India.
Commenting on the launch, Chairman and Managing Director of RailTel Shri R. K. Bahuguna said, “As outlined by the Hon’ble minister Shri Suresh Prabhu – modernising and improving the amenities available to passengers of Indian Railways is big part of our focus. And we are very proud to say that Indian Railways has taken the lead to offer the best Wi-Fi network experience available to passengers today in the country. And while the service will be free for a reasonable amount of time, our long-term goal is to make this project self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and places, with RailTel and other partners, in the future.”