RailTel & Google join to WiFi-illumine 10 more Railway Stations

RailTel-Google WiFi projBangalore: The telecom arm of  Indian Railways —  Railtel  —  has joined with Google  to  launch WiFi services at 9 stations, starting with Mumbai Central. This wil be followed by Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda (Hyderabad), Ernakulum Jn (Kochi) and Vishakhapatnam.

The service built over the fiber network of RailTel is designed to offer high speed broadband experience to users. Travellers passing through these stations will now be able to easily stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, download a book or a new game for their journey. Google 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, covering 100 of the busiest train stations in India. The project will be eventually rolled out to cover 400 train stations across India.

Says  R. K. Bahuguna, Chairman and Managing Director of Railtel: “We are very proud 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.”

Adds Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Project, Google India: “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.”

After Mumbai Central, Bhubaneswar and Vizag gets free Wi-Fi service

After Mumbai Central, RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways on Sunday launched high-speed public free WiFi service at Bhubaneswar railway station in partnership with Google.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu accompanied by Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, launched the WiFi service which will benefit 1.4 lakh visitors at Bhubaneswar station daily.

The Minister also announced that similar service will be made available at Puri Railway Station ahead of Lord Jagannth’s annual Rath Yatra in July this year.

The project will eventually be rolled out to cover 400 railway stations across India.

On Congress protest outside the station against the reported move to shift the proposed rail wagon repair factory from Narla in Kalahandi district, both the ministers were critical of the UPA government for having announced the project without making the requisite budget allocations for it.

“We do, what we say. But, earlier, they (UPA government) announced the project without making budgetary provision.

There was no mention of Narla project in the pink book. The announcement was made on political consideration,” Sinha said.

“We are committed to the announcements made by us. This time during budget presentation, I have placed facts before Parliament on the work done by us as regard the announcements made in the previous budget,” said Prabhu during his speech here.

Stressing that no factory can be made by simply making announcements without required provisions, Prabhu said “we have said 100 stations will get WiFi service this year and we will do it. We do not make false announcements”.

Noting that Odisha got a meagre Rs 719 crore in 2012-13 rail budget and Rs 812 crore in 2013-14, the Railway Minister said the amount for the state was substantially raised by NDA government and this year it is Rs 6,000 crore.

On the proposed Narla wagon repair factory, Prabhu had yesterday announced that a joint working group will be formed to decide how to set up projects in Kalahandi and Ganjam districts, announcements for which were made by previous UPA government.

The group will decide what kind of projects could come up at Narla and Sitapalli of Ganjam if wagon repair factories are not economically viable in those places.

RailTel provides Internet services as Rail Wire via its extensive network along with Google on Friday announced the launch of free high speed public Wi-Fi services at Visakhapatnam Railway station.

The Wi-Fi will benefit over 1.9 lakh visitors daily. With this launch, Google has successfully rolled out public Wi-Fi services across 10 key railways stations now enable access to over 1.5 million Indians daily as part of the world’s largest public Wi-Fi project according to a Google press release.

The first one was launched at Mumbai Central in January this year followed by Pune, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kachiguda, Ernakulam and Visakhapatnam. The service built over the fibre network of RailTel is designed to offer high speed broadband experience to users.

Travellers passing through these stations will now be able to easily stream a high definition video, research their destination, download a book or a new game for their journey.

As the Internet adoption grows in India, easy and affordable access to high-speed networks is the real need of the hour’, said Gulzar Azad, Head of the Access Project, Google India. The service will be free for a reasonable amount of time said Chairman and MD of RailTel R.K.Bahuguna.

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