Here’s How You Can Get Free Wi-Fi at Railway Stations in India
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Camera Person: Cyrus John
Reliance Jio has certainly disrupted the Indian smartphone market, so much so that ever since its inception internet usage in India has hit a record high.
But still, what do you think would be better than cheap internet? It’s FREE internet.
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 400 railway stations. Google’s aim with this project is to provide free Wi-Fi internet at railway stations across India and bridge the digital divide in the country. Currently there are more than 8 million active users on this platform with most of the consumers in tier 2 cities.
Google has come to the end of a long journey in Dibrugarh, Assam, where they have installed the final Google Station. But, before heading to Dibrugarh, I had an opportunity to experience Google’s free Wi-Fi project in Guwahati, the day before.
To make use of the free wifi service, a user needs to access the “RailTel” Wi-Fi at the station where they will be asked to feed in their mobile number followed by OTP authentication to access the internet. For the first 30 minutes you get good speeds, after that, it’s not so fast.
Google says that most of the users use the service for watching online videos, social networking and searching information. I have my doubts on that.
RailTel officials have said that the Google Station network is end-to-end encrypted and it will be very tough for hackers and malicious softwares to gain access to the user’s information.
Earlier, Facebook too tried something like this with its free Express Internet project, but nothing materialised.
I still feel there are a lot of areas where the free Wi-Fi service needs work, and especially when it comes to security. But, this step from Google most certainly helps in speeding things up a bit.