WiFi at 100 Railway Stations by year end in association with RailTel; says Google official

Google India Country Head (Public Policy) Chetan Krishnaswamy said that Google has set a target of providing Wi-Fi internet connectivity at 100 railway stations in the country by the end of this year. Mobile net users account for six to seven million among total users as on date, he said.

Chetan Krishnaswamy Country Head - Public Policy Google India speaks at Sahyadri College Mangalore
Chetan Krishnaswamy Country Head – Public Policy Google India speaks at Sahyadri College Mangalore

Mangalore: Addressing a gathering of students during Freshers’ Day organised at Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management, here, on Wednesday, Chetan said, “While 30 Railway stations are already networked, the work is on at remaining places in association with RailTel Corporation of India Ltd., (a Telecom Arm of Indian Railways) with the aim to provide high stream surfing, free for one hour, allowing the users to download whatever they prefer to.”

However, in general, there are multiple regulatory challenges to deal with, though global in nature, as the privacy of users also assumes profound significance, he added.

Making it clear that the rural netizens are also growing in significant numbers, Chetan said, “By 2018, India will have half a billion internet users, with close to half of them from rural India.”

This sets the tone for future challenges, on devising means to reach those rural masses, who lack English knowledge. Other than English, Hindi is making strides, with queries in the same language growing five times more than the earlier times. That apart, websites in local languages make for 0.1% of total sites, he said.

During a survey in 2015, India had 300 million internet users, making for 43% of world’s population, owing to several reasons like lower data prices, technological innovations, heightened competition, rising global affinity and also affordability of devices, with smartphones being the pick of all.

Chetan said that for surfing, mobile phones have also emerged as the most favoured device rather than laptops and computers. It is evident with an estimated six to seven million netizens logging online through their cellphones. Besides, there is an increase in number of voice queries. However, 70 % of the net users still prefer 2G, he noted.

Following this, Google is also trying to reach the masses offline too, to reach those consumers who lack net connectivity.

In his tips to budding engineers to excel in the highly competitive world, Chetan said, “One should work as a team with collaborative skills, as individual excellence has made way to connect with the people well. Most importantly, one has to be open and transparent to accept others and let know others about self.”

Mincing no words, Chetan said, “Being authentic and time management holds the key to deliver time bound results. Written and verbal skills counts, even at the top notch companies. However, there are employees who fail miserably when it comes to expressing their feelings in simple words: literally or orally.”

Chetan said it is equally important to develop certain skills and be pro-active to rise up to the challenges at global level.


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