Updated: March 30, 2015 4:55:12 am
By : Kartik Kumar
Soon, passengers travelling by the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi, Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi and Ahmedabad-New Delhi Rajdhani Express will be able to enjoy free WiFi facility during their journey. Last week, the rail ministry has given approval for implementing the service.
“Rs 2 crore is being spent for providing WiFi facility in one rake of the train. The project is capital-intensive and also have high recurring cost in the form of bandwidth rentals. Efforts are being made to explore policy changes to let private companies advertise and come out with a profit-sharing business model,” Neeraj Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Northern Railway, said.
The RailTel Corporation has started technical trials for successful implementation of the project, he added. The facility is expected to be available within five to six months.
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The internet facility will have 4 Mbps download bandwidth and 512 Kbps upload bandwidth as its benchmark. The satellite antenna, provided by ISRO, will be placed in one of the two power cars of the rakes and will be linked through WiFi radios provided outside each coach. It will further get distributed inside the coaches through indoor access points that will help passengers to have continuous internet access during their journey.
The passengers will have to access the Indian Railway WiFi network and, accordingly, register by providing the PNR and other details like mobile number etc. On validation of the data entered by the passenger, the login ID and password will be sent through SMS to the registered mobile number. The login ID and password will remain valid for entire journey.
Earlier, railways had provided WiFi facility on the Howrah-New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express as a pilot project in April 2013, using satellite communication technology, but there were certain technical problems that led to its temporary suspension.
The project was renewed last year after the NDA government had directed Indian Railways to extend free WiFi facility on select trains by giving priority to Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto express trains, sources said.
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