Google has announced the partnership with BSNL which would help its expansion of high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bihar.
A year after Google declared that it has enabled free high-speed public Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations in India, the company has announced that it is partnering with BSNL to launch free public Wi-Fi in villages in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar. Notably, the first announcement had come in May 2019 wherein the partnership with BSNL was announced, however, the name of the states had not been revealed.
Earlier, the search engine giant had partnered with Indian Railways and RailTel, which operates a fibre network along the country’s massive network of rail tracks in 2015. This was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to its California headquarters. Notably, the Mumbai Central station was the first to get it in January, 2016 while Dibrugarh in Assam – the final station was added in 2018, thereby completing the target.
Google has announced the partnership with BSNL which would help its expansion of high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bihar. The focus will be on villages which do not have Wi-Fi connectivity yet.
This also comes a day after the fifth edition of Google for India event which took place in New Delhi on Thursday that made a series of announcements which included a phone, job postings in Google Pay, Hindi support by Google Assistant and a Google Research India AI lab in Bengaluru, among others.
In addition, Google had, in July 2019, also collaborated with Cisco for its ‘gStation’ to provide free and high-speed WiFi at public locations across India. A PTI reports said that Cisco is facilitating the network infrastructure with around 25 locations already live in Bengaluru. Additionally, 200 locations will go live in the next few months as well. Other locations being considered are Delhi suburbs along with few cities in Uttar Pradesh, as per the PTI report.
As per a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI ), India has to have around 8 million additional hotspots installed in order to build new market opportunities for infrastructure providers and internet service providers (ISP). At present, the country has nearly 52,000 WiFi hotspots.