Railways targets 100% Wi-Fi enabled stations across India by 2019 at cost of Rs. 700 crore

Railways targets 100% Wi-Fi enabled stations across India by 2019 at cost of Rs. 700 crore

The Indian Railways is promising free Wi-Fi at speeds of 20-40 MBPS in 257 railway stations in the country, which is better than what we get at most homes. Not only that, the railway ministry is now ambitiously looking at equipping each and every railway station across the country, numbering nearly 8,500, with Wi-Fi facilities at the cost of Rs 700 crore. The ministry timeline targets 600 Wi-Fi enabled railway stations by March 2018 and 100 per cent station Wi-Fi coverage by March 2019.

The Station Wi-Fi project, launched in 2016 as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, provides free Internet to passengers under Railwire, the retail broadband distribution model of RailTel Corporation of India Limited. RailTel is a Mini Ratna PSU and one of India’s largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers owning a pan-India optic fiber network on exclusive Right of Way (ROW) along railway tracks that has roped in Google to provide tech support and set up the wireless infrastructure. Around seven million rail passengers are already benefiting from this facility but it is currently limited to select A1, A and some B-listed stations only.

According to Railtel, “This initiative is part of bridging the digital divide & providing high speed access network to all rail users with financial inclusion of local cable operators…Once (fully) implemented this shall be one of the largest public Wi-Fi projects in the world.”

As per the plan finalised at a recent railway ministry meeting, 1,200 stations have been identified for this facility to primarily cater to rail passengers. Significantly, a whopping 7,300 stations have reportedly been earmarked to also serve the local population in rural and remote areas – in addition to train commuters – to promote e-governance as part of the digital makeover of rural India. According to media reports, railway stations in rural areas will have Wi-Fi enabled kiosks that will become digital hotspots offering services such as digital banking, tax filing, paying bills, Aadhaar generation, issuing government certificates, including birth and death certificates, among others. The kiosks will also enable the local populace to order and receive goods from e-commerce portals. “These kiosks will be operated at stations with private participation for the local population,” said a senior Railway Ministry official, adding, “The modalities of setting up such digital hotspots are being worked out with the Telecom Ministry.”

Presently, RailTel has created over 45,000 km of optic fiber network connecting over 4,500 cities and towns on the network. But the ministry’s plan for 100 per cent Wi-Fi enabled stations in the next 14 months seems overtly optimistic considering that since February 2017, only 142 additional railway stations have been included in the project. According to Inc42 Media, work is in progress at 161 more railways stations but it is slow going due to a limited number of partners like Google coming on board.

The free Wi-Fi service works on a model where there is no cap on the volume of data consumed. However, as there are no free lunches in the world, after the first 30 minutes of usage, the Internet speed one would enjoy would be gradually reduced. But it’s still free, and fast. Wondering what’s in it for Google, apart from public gratitude? “For Google, this is an ecosystem project. Our idea with this is to make sure there is more and more broadband adoption. The more the adoption, the more people come online, and the greater the economic impact. When there is economic impact on digitization, we get directly impacted because we are a stakeholder in the digitization of the country,” Gulzar Azad, head of connectivity, Google India had explained earlier. And the Indian Railways gets less irate customers.

About author

TnH Global
TnH Global 4010 posts

Our platform is the most comprehensive, current and accurate content destination for tourism that also offers the opportunity to connect and network with quality buyers and sellers.

Name: TnH Global              Email: admin@tnhglobal.com

You might also like

Technology

TFS’ in-house QA App wins at prestigious IMAGES Retail Technology Awards 2017

TFS (Travel Food Services) was conferred the IMAGES Most Admired Retailer of the year: Technology Innovation in the more than 50 crore category. The IMAGES Retail Technology Awards which were held

Trending

VITS Hotels signs joint venture with Exhicon Group in Thailand

The agreement will accelerate ‘VITS’ brand experience in Far East and Middle East, and the new entity will launch its first hotel in Phuket by January 2018 VITS Hotels has

Latest

Fairfield by Marriott debuts in Seoul and adds to Select-Service brand presence with three properties

Marriott International’s Select-Service brands are proving to be an integral component of the company’s vigorous expansion in South Korea with five openings in this category over the last three years,

Destinations

Seawings introduces experiential journeys for quick getaways in UAE

Enjoy a luxury excursion to create memorable moments with your loved ones Seawings, the only luxury seaplane tour operator in the Middle East offering scenic aerial tours, charters and magical

Trending

Emirates named ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2018 Air Transport Awards

Emirates Airline has been named ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2018 Air Transport Awards. Emirates won the prestigious accolade based the evaluation from a jury comprised of executives and

Latest

Air India seeks $740 million loan to finance purchase of 6 Boeing planes

Air India is looking for bridge loans worth up to $740 million to finance purchase of six Boeing 787-8 planes, according to a tender document. While the government is working

Trending

6th International Tourism Mart 2017 inaugurated in Assam

The 6th International Tourism Mart (ITM) 2017 was inaugurated by Assam’s governor Jagdish Mukhi in Guwahati, Assam on December 5. in the presence of Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister Assam, Pema

Slider

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel unveils new website

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel has launched THEUSHUAIAEXPERIENCE.COM, a brand new website that brings together all the satellite sites of Ushuaïa Ibiza to showcase its luxurious accommodation, exquisite restaurants, ticket sales for all

Latest

Travelport and OYO announce new hotel content deal

Travelport-connected travel agencies will benefit from up to 6,000 additional hotel properties in India Travelport a leading travel commerce platform, and OYO, India’s largest network of hotels, have today announced

Latest

ALDAR APPOINTS EHG’S VIDA HOTELS AND RESORTS TO OPERATE ICONIC URBAN RESORT ON ABU DHABI’S REEM ISLAND

Vida Hotels and Resorts, the upscale lifestyle hospitality brand for the new generation of business executives, entrepreneurs and leisure travellers by Emaar Hospitality Group has signed a management agreement with

Government

M/o Tourism streamlines Hotel Classification guidelines to make them simple, transparent and time bound

Ministry of Tourism has streamlined the Hotel classification guidelines to make them simple, transparent and time bound. The application for classification and payments of fees have been made through digital

Latest

Assam’s Majuli becomes the first island district of India

Majuli, the seat of neo-Vaishnavite Bhakti renaissance, became India’s first island district on Thursday, with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurating it as the 35th district of Assam. “The long cherished

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!