Midnapore Railway station of South Eastern Railway zone, became the 5000th station in the country to have free public Wi-Fi and with this RailTel has has achieved another milestone.
CMD of RailTel Puneet Chawla, talking about the journey so far said, “We are now just few hundred stations away from achieving the ambitious target of providing free public Wi-Fi at all Indian Railway stations (except the halt ones).’
He said the dedication of the RailTel team, our partners and support from Indian Railways has made it possible. The free Wi-Fi is becoming more and more popular with users.The month of August’19 saw total 1.14 crores of user logins in ‘RailWire’ Wi-Fi services with 10192.55 TB of data usage across all stations.
The journey started in January 2016 from the financial capital of India – Mumbai Central station. And in a span of 44 months RailTel has successfully provided Wi-Fi at 5000 stations across the country. Along the journey, RailTel has roped in patterns like Google, Tata Trust, PGCIL for some parts of the project andalso got funding from Department of Telecom USOF for 200 stations.
Access to high speed internet is a key factor in the success of Digital India Initiative of Govt of India. To fulfil this dream, Indian Railways gave mandate to RailTel to provide free Wi-Fi at all feasible (except the halt ones) railway stations. This was a unique initiative as this Wi-Fi network is one of the largest Wi-Fi networks of the world.
Free access to high speed Wi-Fi will help in bridging the digital divide between rural and urban India. Out of total of about 5,000 stations commissioned so far, 70 per cent are in rural areas which is bringing free high-speed Wi-Fi services in the vicinity of a major chunk of rural population. The reduction in cost of smart phones is making it easy for even economically weaker sections of society in these areas to avail internet facility through RailTel’s Railwire Wi-Fi at stations.
During the month of August 2019, a total of 11.25 lakh users availed the Rural Wi-Fi services at 3406 rural Railway stations with 2305 TB of data download. The recent field study at rural stations has revealed that this Wi-Fi has been proved to be very useful for people commuting through these stations as well as people working in these stations.
Students using their waiting time to download study materials, vendors using the service for digital payment transactions, daily passengers using their time at stations learning new skill or surfing net- the free Wi-Fi has been a boon to these people who otherwise suffers from poor connectivity issues.
Free Wi-Fi service to passengers are being provided under ‘RailWire’- the retail Broadband initiative of RailTel catering to Enterprises, SMEs and homes. Designed to offer users the best Internet experience, RailWire Wi-Fi at Railway stations will be available to any user who has a smartphone with working mobile connection for KYC considerations. (UNI)