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Google's free Wi-Fi at railway stations connecting 2 million Indians

Google's free Wi-Fi is currently available in 23 railway stations in India, and is already helping 2 million people get online.

Published onAugust 1, 2016

Sundar Pichai Google for India

It was in 2015 that Google’s head honcho Sundar Pichai promised the availability of Wi-Fi at a 100 railway stations across India, an initiative that aimed at connecting millions of passengers who flock to them on a daily basis. In the first phase of the project, Google has implemented free Wi-Fi in 23 stations so far, in partnership with RailTel.

The free Wi-Fi project has been lauded as one of the most successful initiatives, and now caters to two million Indians. Google had kickstarted the initiative after it joined hands with the telecom wing of Indian Railway and decided to provide free Wi-Fi in each of the stations every month. As one might have already deduced, the initiative is still in its early phase, and needless to say it will turn out to be an even bigger success once launched across India.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company continues to work with Indian Railways to bring internet connectivity to more people. The announcement was made on the sidelines of Alphabet’s second quarter earnings call, where the company reported profits in ads.

There are already two million people logging in every month. They are using as much as 15 times the data that they would otherwise use in a full day on their cellular networks.

Google has already come up with a list of the 100 top railway stations through which nearly 10 million people pass through. Considering the fact that the stations are usually a point of transit, the people who get a chance to experience the high-speed Wi-Fi are different. Every station is backed by a 1Gbps plus backhaul through the fiber, alongside multiple access points for the users, thus eventually achieving a better consistency with low latency.

According to media reports, the free Wi-Fi is way better than the paid Internet services offered in Tier-2 cities and other remote regions. Another mention-worthy fact is that Indian Railway is one of the World’s largest rail networks in the world, and is used by more than 8 billion every year. The sheer number of users coupled with the low connectivity at most of the places has fueled the need for the free Wi-Fi, and it seems that Google has been heading in the right direction.

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