Eight Mumbai suburban stations have been provided with high speed Wi-Fi services. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated Wi-Fi services in Churchgate, Bandra, Bandra Terminus and Dadar on Western Railway line and Khar Road, Kalyan and Lokmanya Tilak stations on the Central Railway line.
"Our initiative is part of bridging the digital divide and providing high speed network access to all rail users. Once implemented, this would be one of the largest public Wi-Fi projects in the world," said Prabhu.
The commuters on these two arterial rail lines of the financial hub would be offered high speed internet by RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, the PSU of Ministry of Railways. RailTel has set up 300km optical fibre netwrok and is looking to provide commercial broadband as well. Google has partnered with RailTel to roll out state-of-art, high speed internet of upto 1 Gbps to commuters.
The railway minister assured that commuters along these rail lines will have seamless internet connectivity.
Meanwhile, RailTel broadband service, marketed under the brand name RailWire has made soft launch of its services in eight other stations—Sealdah, Allahabad, Pune, Puri, Tambaram, Chennai Egmore, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Chandigarh. A Railway Ministry official said wi-fi services in these stations will be formally launched soon.
Indian Railway Spokesperson Anil Saxena said soon, nine other stations in Mumbai— Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Borivali, Belapur, Byculla, Kurla, Vashi, Panvel, Andheri and Thane will be Wi-Fi-enabled.
"We are a neutral telecom infrastructure provider. With Google as our technology partner, our target is to set up fast Wi-Fi network, initially covering 100 A1 and A category stations, said R.K.Bahuguna, RailTel CMD, adding 10 million rail passengers will benefit from this.
Under the partnership programme with Google, RailTel has already started Wi-Fi services in 21 other stations. Bahuguna said the service will be provided to 24 other stations soon.