The internet facility will be extended to another 4,791 stations (except halt stations) within this year, offering free high-speed WiFi facility at every station on Indian Railways network.
Indian Railways free high-speed WiFi a big hit! In May, more than 2 crore users logged into the free railway high-speed WiFi at 1,606 railway stations. This year, the facility is to be extended to the remaining 4,791 stations, RailTel announced recently. The firm said in the month of May, the number of user logins at the WiFi-enabled railway stations was 2.35 crore in total. According to a statement issued by RailTel, this emphasizes the fact that despite having easy access to mobile internet, rail users at stations prefer to use public WiFi service provided by Indian Railways. Now, the internet facility will be extended to another 4,791 stations (except halt stations) within this year, offering free high-speed WiFi facility at every station on Indian Railways network.
According to a PTI report, railway stations in tier-1 cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata registered a greater number of user logins as well as data consumption as compared to their tier-2 counterparts. The Howrah railway station alone witnessed a total of 4.9 lakh user logins in a month. In an average half-an-hour data session with unconstrained, free high-speed WiFi connectivity, an average user consumes 343 MB. According to RailTel, this is much higher than an average 3G connection in India which currently consumes nearly 30 MB per user per day.
Indian Railways’ bid to provide free high-speed WiFi facility at stations began from Mumbai Central station in January 2016. Within 16 months, the RailWire WiFi of RailTel was live at as many as 1,600 railway stations across the country. The RailWire brand is the retail broadband initiative of RailTel, under which free internet services are being provided to passengers.
RailTel CMD Puneet Chawla was quoted in the report saying that internet service in India is mostly mobile internet with a high percentage of 2G and 3G users. The digital arm of Indian Railways, RailTel had sought to bridge the digital divide by providing fast and free WiFi facility. The move also bridges the experience divide of the internet where for the first time, millions of users experience fast access to the internet, he added.
As part of its 100-day roadmap drawn up by the Railway Board, Indian Railways is looking to expedite the implementation of the free RailWire WiFi project.