Google is Bringing Free Wi-Fi to Bus Stops and Offices in India
After setting up Wi-Fi at railway stations, Google is now pushing its project to service WiFi at bus stops and more.
Google on Monday announced to roll out free high-speed Wi-Fi access globally, starting with India. This project will be part of Google’s ‘Station’ setup, which is already offering high-speed wireless internet across various railway stations in the country.
For this, the search giant is using hardware giants Cisco, which will be setting up the back-end platform to cater to the needs of high-speed Wi-Fi internet for the consumers.
To begin with, the first pilot under the partnership has been rolled out at 35 locations in Bengaluru, and focus areas will include bus stops, government offices and hospitals among others. They haven’t revealed the speeds which will be available.
By September this year, 200 locations in Bengaluru will be Wi-Fi enabled, followed by another 300 by in the second phase, Cisco said.
Currently, about half a billion people in India are online, while 800 million are still not connected to the Internet.
Google’s free Wi-Fi service will be supported by advertisements in order to get better returns from the setup which requires heavy investment to function.
Even as telecom infrastructure has become increasingly robust and ubiquitous, public access to high-speed data is critical for connecting over 800 million Indians who still are not online.
According to a TRAI report, globally, there is one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 150 people, and in India, eight million additional hotspots must be installed to achieve the same ratio -- creating new market opportunities for infrastructure providers and internet service providers.
Currently, India has only 52,000 Wi-Fi hotspots but with growing need for seamless, high-speed internet among people, the Indian government is keen on building up Wi-Fi network across the country, using projects like these.
Google Stations kicked off at the Mumbai Central station in 2016 in collaboration with telecom company RailTel and the Indian Railways. It was announced on 27 September 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
The project kicked-off at the Mumbai Central station and since then it has spread across Indian in 600 railway stations. Facebook has also discussed about offering its Express Wi-Fi service in the near future, with Jio also setting up its JioFi network.
(With IANS inputs)
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