RailTel to continue free WiFi service at Railway Stations after Google exit from Project Station

  • Google claimed that there’s a growing availability of 4G connectivity and the prices are much lower.
  • Google was responsible for the technology support and provided Radio Access Network.

NEW DELHI: Google has announced that they will be pulling down the ‘Station’ project all over the world. Under this project, the tech giant provided internet to around 415 railway stations in India. While this may seem disheartening for internet users in India, the technology company was only responsible to provide connectivity for a fraction of Indian railway stations.

RailTel, a PSU under the Ministry of Railways, had partnered with Google for five years to provide free WiFi in 415 A1, A, C category stations. Google was responsible for the technology support and provided Radio Access Network (RAN) while RailTel provided the physical infrastructure and the ISP connection as well. RailTel was working with other providers for the other 5190 B, C, D stations. RailTel assured that despite Google’s contract coming to an end, their company will continue to provide WiFi on these 415 railway stations.

Google had taken up the contract to expand internet reach in India. The Station project was also available in Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Thailand, Phillipines, Mexico, Indonesia and Vietnam. The company is withdrawing support from all these countries. Google has also assured transition support to its partners for the locations where they provided technology.

In a response, Google claimed that there’s a growing availability of 4G connectivity in a lot of these countries and the data prices have also gone down. This has brought down the requirement for such projects.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet is also working on a unique project called Loon, to expand the reach of internet in remote areas. Internet providers are not able to yield enough revenue from remote areas due to a low population density. Project Loon tries to tackle it by sending stratospheric helium powered balloons in these remote areas.

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