Enjoy Google’s FREE Wi-Fi access across 400 Railway Stations!by Rajshree Faria December 17, 2015
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When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Google’s company campus in Mountain View, California in September, millions of Indian hearts went into a flutter; certainly not because we wanted to see him and the then newly appointed Google CEO Sundar Pichai talk in Hindi, but because there were reports that they will cement a deal allowing Google to set up free Wi-Fi zones at railway stations across India. Now, who doesn’t like free internet access? And who hasn’t seen a commuter waiting to catch a train stare into his or her screen, watching videos?
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On his first visit to India post becoming the CEO of the tech giant, Pichai spoke about the growing Indian market and how it will surpass the U.S as a market potential for Google by 2016. In India for the ‘Google for India’ event, the Indian-origin innovator’s biggest announcement that directly pleases millions of Indians was regarding the setting up of free Wi-Fi at 400 train stations across India, with 100 of them going live by end of the next year. Google published a map of the first 100 stations that will enjoy high speed WiFi.
The first railway station in India to receive the honour of hosting free Wi-Fi from Google will be Mumbai’s one of the busiest stations, Mumbai Central. With testing already conducted, commuters from Mumbai Central will be able to stream movies, surf the internet, download songs, and do much more for free, starting January. With thousands of commuters of all age groups flocking its platforms each day, Mumbai Central serves as the perfect choice for being the first one to get free Wi-Fi.
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Google is partnering with Railtel Corporation, a public sector undertaking which focuses on providing broadband and VPN services. Google will make use of Railtel’s 45,000 kms of optic fibre networks across railway tracks in the country for the project. With Railtel acting as the ISP, Google will provide the Wireless Area Networks with access points at the stations. Just in case you’re wondering if you get access to free internet on trains too, sorry to disappoint you, but Google does not have such intentions as of now.
On the other hand, if you think that the services provided by this Wi-Fi will be slow or patchy at best, then you are in for a treat! So, in case you like to watch videos while waiting for your daily train, then you may very well expect at least HD quality as your standard streaming! Google will also ensure that you get efficient speeds across all kinds of devices. They wish for the user to get broadband quality experience rather than a make-do access.
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The company expects at least 10 million users to access its Wi-Fi each day, across the country, by the end of 2016. If the plan lifts off successfully by the end of 2016, Google intends to take the project further.
Although there are no reports suggesting the revenue model for Google, you can be rest assured that the Wi-Fi access will be free for at least the next few months while Google sets up the whole system in place across the country.
Go ahead; thank Google for making your train station experience a little better!