Google today announced the roll out of Railwire Wi-Fi at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) bringing in high-speed Internet to 100 of the busiest railway stations across India. Over 10 million people who pass through these stations every day now have an access to fast Internet speed to stream (or offline) an HD video, research their destination or download a new book or game for the journey ahead. With over 5 million monthly users, the Google Railtel Wifi is helping millions of Indians discover the benefits of Internet with 15000 first time users connecting to the network everyday.
One of the many examples is Bhagwan Sahay who uses internet at Jaipur Railway station, one of the earliest stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi. According to him “I visit [Jaipur station] every 3 to 4 days to get fast access to the Internet. I stop there for a few minutes, download apps, update them and get things my daughter wants. She is in 10th grade and uses my smartphone in the evenings to fulfill her educational needs. She also teaches my wife, her mother, to read and write using my smartphone.”
Excited about the roll-out of high-speed Railwire Wi-Fi at the 100th station in India, Gulzar Azad, Country Head – Connectivity, Google India said, “We’re really excited about reaching this milestone and it is an incredible feeling to look back and see how far we’ve come since we announced that we were partnering with Indian Railways and RailTel to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations throughout the country. But what has really inspired us are the stories of how people are using this high-speed access to the full and open Internet. They’re using Railwire Wi-Fi to be more productive with their time and to get things done more efficiently.”
The high-speed, quality Wi-Fi also enables the travellers to connect with their loved ones more regularly especially with video calling apps. Bholu a migrant worker from Bihar who travels to Rajasthan for work said, “Traveling usually means I won’t have a good connection. I got so excited when I saw free Wi-Fi here at the station. I just called my wife, and the voice and picture clarity were so good. I haven’t seen her face this clear in so long, whenever I talk the image is blurred because the network isn’t great. She also got so excited to see my call, she was very surprised to see me. I feel so good after speaking to her. I can’t stop smiling.”
Somesh Singh is another classic example of how the Railwire Wi-Fi has benefitted him. An an engineering graduate who logs on at Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi to search the web for job opportunities and prepare for interviews without having to wait for slow loading pages or worry about the cost of browsing. A teacher uses the Wi-Fi to get schoolwork done on his daily commute from Indore to Ujjain, so he can spend more time with his family once he gets home. And there’s Sandesh Awasthi, a cricket fan who no longer has to miss another game if he can stream matches live while waiting at Churchgate station in Mumbai.
Google is committed to launch high-speed Wifi across 400 stations in India in partnership with Railtel. Launched in January this year, Google will continue to deploy the high speed Wi-Fi in the next 300 stations. In addition to this, Google has also introduced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.