Mumbai: Mumbai Central Terminus of Western Railway on Friday earned the distinction of being the first railway station in India to offer free high-speed Wi-Fi to the public.
The facility – courtesy Google and RailTel, the telecom wing of Indian Railways – was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
He said plans were afoot to bring online 100 railway stations, including those at Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur and Ranchi, by 2016-end.
The Wi-Fi service is part of the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the union government and was announced in September 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Google headquarters in Mountain View in the US.
RailTel Corporation will provide Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fibre network in partnership with Google.
“Affordable smartphones have made it possible for the common masses to experience the power of Internet. With our partnership with Google, we are confident of rolling out a robust, scalable service at railway stations in the near future,” RailTel CMD R.K. Bahuguna said.
“By the year-end, over 10 million people will be able to enjoy Internet experience at 100 stations across India,” Google’s South East Asia and India vice president Rajan Anandan assured.
Google has committed to collaborate with RailTel and Indian Railways to expand the network to the remaining stations by the year-end, followed by another 400 railway stations thereafter.