On fast track: 600 Indian Railways stations get free WiFi in 10 days; Santacruz 1600th to get facility
RailTel has provided high-speed Wi-Fi at 985 stations with own/other funding and at 415 A, A1 and C category stations, associating Google as the Technology partner for Radio Access.
After Reay Road and Sahibabad Station, Western Railway's Santacruz station has received the distinction of becoming 1600th Indian Railways station to get free wifi facility. Santacruz railway station is on the suburban section of Mumbai. Reay Road station is 1000th station and Sahibabad is 1500th station to get the RailWire wifi service. The RailWire wifi service is provided by RailTel, a Mini-Ratna PSU of the Indian Railways. RailWire is the retail broadband initiative of the RailTel. In order to fulfil the promise of bringing fast and free Wi-Fi at all Railway stations (except the halt stations) within a year, team RailTel is working at a fast pace to achieve the target.
Ravindra Bhakar, CPRO, Western Railways has termed the achievement a boon for millions of passengers commuting through Suburban Railways every day.
Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel said that he is confident of achieving the set target on time. "Providing public Wi-Fi at 24X7 crowded stations are a huge challenge and unprecedented in India. But with an experienced and dedicated team, we have managed to complete 1600 stations today. And with the current pace of execution, we are confident of completing the project well within time’," he said.
RailTel has provided high-speed Wi-Fi at 985 stations with own/other funding and at 415 A, A1 and C category stations, associating Google as the Technology partner for Radio Access, while using the RailTel backbone for broadband connectivity. RailTel has also taken the support of Universal Service Obligatory Fund of GoI for providing wif at another 200 stations.
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In the next phase, RailTel has roped in Tata Trust for providing Wi-Fi at remaining 4791 B, C, D and E category stations across the country. The idea behind providing free Wi-Fi to these very small stations catering to mainly rural/low population density areas is to provide the people with state of the art Wi-Fi facility. RailWire Wi-Fi will be available to any user who has a smartphone with a working mobile connection.