Google has announced the roll out of its Railwire high-speed Wi-Fi at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) station, bringing Internet to 100 of the busiest railway stations across India. Google says that over 10 million people who pass through these stations every day, and now get access to fast Internet speed to stream (or download) HD videos. Google claims that Google Railtel has over five million monthly users, and is helping millions of people to discover the benefits of high speed Internet. The company added that 15,000 first time users are connecting to its network everyday.
Talking about the roll-out of Railwire Wi-Fi at Udhagamandalam, 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.”
Google says that its high-speed WiFi at railway station enables travelers to connect with their family and friends with VoIP calls and video calling apps. The company gave an example of Bholu, a migrant worker from Bihar who travels to Rajasthan for work who said, “Travelling 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 wide, and the voice and picture clarity was good. I have’t seen her face this clear in so long, whenever I talk the image is blurred because the network isn’t great.”
In another example, Google shared the story of Bhagwan Sahay, who uses Internet at the Jaipur Railway station, one of the earliest stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi. According to him “I visit [Jaipur station] every three to four 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.”
Google plans to launch high-speed Wifi across 400 stations in India in partnership with Railtel. The project started in January this year, with Google will continuing to deploy high speed Wi-Fi at the remaining 300 stations it has on the list. In addition, Google has introduced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.