No slower internet speeds (at least on railway stations), Google India has launched its first super high-speed and highly reliable public WiFi service in one of India’s busiest railway station – Mumbai Central. Google has tied up with state-owned RailTel Corp. of India, who has an extensive optical fiber network laid along the railway lines to provide WiFi connectivity across 407 railway stations.
Passengers in Mumbai Central railway station can now enjoy high-speed internet connectivity for free or which will cost almost zero rupees, but there would be a speed reduction over continuous usage so as to give equal opportunities to all people accessing the WiFi at the station.
Google and railway ministry plans to monetize the service in future by offering only the first 30 minutes free internet usage and thereafter charging users somewhere between Rs 25 to Rs 30 per hour.
How to connect to Google WiFi on Railway Stations?
- Just switch on your WiFi (on smartphone, Laptops etc) to find ‘RailWire Wi-Fi’ network and connect to the network
- Open your browser and enter the URL railwire.co.in.
- There you will be asked to provide your phone number in the WiFi login screen and then click ‘Receive SMS’ (note that you will need to enter the phone number every time you try to connect with the Wi-Fi network/0
- You will instantly get a 4-digital OTP code (one time password) on SMS, which need to be entered on the WiFi login screen
- Done! you will see a checkmark and you are fully connected to Google WiFi
Talking about, RailTel the state-owned company has built a network of fiber-optic lines which covers more than 45,000 km along most major rail tracks across the country and the company plans to expand their footprint to over 55,000 km of track covering almost 70% of India’s population. Google will utilize this to provide the WiFi service, where Railtel will be the ISP and Google will offer the Wireless Area Networks (WAN) across the railway platform setting up the WiFi access points.
The plans for public WiFi program was laid down during the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Google U.S. headquarters back in 2015 and in line with India Govt Digital India initiative. Under this program, Google will provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India [source]. Google plans to cover 100 of the busiest railway stations in India before the end of 2016.
With around 962 individual trains passing through and transporting more than 7 million passengers daily, Mumbai Central is one of the best test grounds for Google to try out its network capabilities.