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Google to tie up with Railtel for railway station wi-fi access

The project, which will be the world's largest such, will provide wi-fi access in 400 railway stations in India

BS Reporter  |  Bengaluru 

Google plans largest public Wi Fi network in the world with Railways

will use the underlying optic fibre network of Railtel, a unit of Indian Railways, to power its free project in over 400 railway stations across the country.

Around 100 stations will be ready by 2016 end, starting with Mumbai Central in October. The free will be available only for 30 minutes over a 24-hour period for each user, after which it will become a paid service, an official said.

The project estimated to provide free to 10 million people who pass through every day. will cover the so called A and A1 class of stations.

"This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users," said in a blog post.

has built over 45,000 km of optic fibre network across the railways network in India, connecting over 4,500 cities and towns and over 5,000 railway stations in the country. 

The proposed network will be capable of delivering HD video streaming services and passengers will be able to download a movie in 4 minutes before they embark on long journeys, a statement from said.

Indian railway stations where Google will provide wi-fi access
Indian railway stations where Google will provide wi-fi access

Seshagiri Rao Annangi, marketing director for India, said the tie-up with Google will help the company promote its retail brand Railwire as it expands nationally. The firm currently has a presence in South India with 40,000 subscribers.

While Google and Railtel do not yet have a commercial arrangement for the project, the latter expects revenue share through advertisements with Google and mobile data offloads from mobile operators.

Railtel will float a tender to invite global companies to offer WiFi for the next set of 300 stations in smaller towns, he said, Annangi said. 

First Published: Mon, September 28 2015. 13:34 IST