RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways, today launched free public Wi-Fi service at Mumbai Central station in collaboration with Google and plans to roll out this project to 100 stations across the country by this year-end.
"Affordable smartphones have made it possible for the common man to experience the power of Internet. With our partnership with Google, we are very confident of rolling out a robust, scalable service at railway stations in the near future," Railtel Chairman and Managing Director R K Bahuguna said in a statement.
The project was announced last September by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Google headquarters in Mountain View.
"We are delighted to launch India's first high speed public Wi-Fi service in partnership with Indian Railways. By end of this year over 10 million people will be able to enjoy this experience at 100 stations spread across the country," Google South East Asia and India VP & Managing Director Rajan Anandan said.
Under the project, Google has committed to work with Indian Railways' and RailTel to expand the network quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations by end of this year and will eventually roll out the service in 400 railway stations across India, the statement said.
"This network will extend to cover both long distance train station and the local train station in Mumbai Central. The next four stations we'll bring online will be Allahabad, Patna, Jaipur and Ranchi and others will follow very shortly," Google India Head of Access Project Gulzar Azad said.