Mumbai, Jan 22 (Big Wire) Passengers at Mumbai Central Terminus had a field day logging into websites as RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways, on Friday launched the first free public Wi-Fi service on the rail network there in collaboration with Google.
The railway station of Western Railway achieved the distinction of becoming the first in India to get the free high-speed public Wi-Fi, courtesy Google and RailTel, the telecom wing of Indian Railways.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the Wi-Fi network and announced plans to bring online Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur and Ranchi soon.
By the year end 10 million people will access Internet at 100 stations across India, Google South East Asia and India Vice-President and Managing Director Rajan Anandan said.
“With our partnership with Google, we are confident of rolling out a robust, scalable service at railway stations in the near future,” RailTel CMD R. K. Bahuguna said.
Quoting railway ministry sources, the Hindustan Times reported the service provider may later charge a fee between Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 after the first one hour use.
The initiative was announced in September last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Google headquarters in Mountain View, US.
RailTel Corporation will provide Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fibre network in partnership with Google.
It is designed to offer users the best Internet experience to anybody who has a working mobile connection on a Smartphone, and cover both the railway terminus as well as long distance trains.
Google said it has committed to collaborate with the RailTel and Indian Railways to expand the network quickly to the remaining stations by the year-end, followed by another 400 railway stations thereafter.