Good News! Now, you can enjoy free WiFi at 1000 Indian Railways stations
Indian Railways: The Reay Road station of suburban line of Central Railways in Mumbai is the 1000th station to go live with Wi-Fi.
Good news for Indian Railways passengers! Now, you can enjoy railways' free WiFi service at 1000 stations. RailTel, the Indian Railways' arm entrusted with the implementation of WiFi, has successfully completed work of turning 1000 railways stations across the country into free Wi-Fi zone. "With a vision of turning Railway stations into a platform for Digital inclusion, RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, a Mini Ratna CPSU under the Ministry of Railways, started providing high-speed Wi-Fi service at railway stations. The journey started in January 2016 from Mumbai Central station in Maharashtra being the first station to have the fast & free RailWire Wi-Fi and in a span of mere 2 years 3 months RailTel has completed 1000 stations," said the RailTel today.
The Reay Road station of suburban line of Central Railways in Mumbai is the 1000th station to go live with Wi-Fi. RailTel envisages expanding the network in more stations in the near future.
"Recently RailTel has roped in Tata Trust for providing Wi-Fi at remaining 4791 B, C, D and E category stations across the country. These stations will have free high-speed RailWire Wi-Fi by RailTel by the end of this year. Once completed all Railway stations (except the halt stations) of Indian Railways will have fast and free RailWire Wi-Fi. These are very small stations catering to mainly rural/low population density areas," it said.
It expects that with the high-speed Wi-Fi services at the stations of these rural areas, these Indian Railway stations will be turned into a hub for digital growth for rural India.
Free Wi-Fi services to passengers are being provided under ‘RailWire’- the retail Broadband initiative of RailTel. The RailWire Wi-Fi will be available to any user who has a smartphone with working mobile connection for KYC considerations.
Explaining the challenges faced by their team, Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel said, "The project of providing Wi-Fi at railway stations is a very challenging project for RailTel from many aspects. The large size of stations, various hindrances for the Wi-Fi signal such as thick stone walls blocking coverage, every station design being unique the fitments needing customization, huge footfalls, power outages, redevelopments of stations and ongoing construction activities at stations are a couple of noteworthy challenges RailTel faced while executing the project."
RailTel has provided high-speed Wi-Fi at 414 A, A1 and C category stations, associating Google as the Technology partner for Radio Access, while using the RailTel backbone for broadband connectivity.
With an aim to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban India, RailTel started providing Wi-Fi at rural railway stations also. These are small stations catering to rural populations which do not have access to state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure. RailTel has already completed work of providing Wi-Fi 200 stations with support of Universal Service Obligatory Fund of GoI and in 386 stations with own/other funding.
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DK Sharma, General Manager/Central Railways, said, "In the month of February 2019, the total number of unique users of station Wi-Fi across the country was 1,15,77,141 and aggregated data consumption was 9065.27 TB.”
Passengers use this Wi-Fi facility for streaming High Definition (HD) Videos, download of movies, songs, games, study and do their office work online.