Mumbai Central will be the first railway station in the country to get Google’s high-speed public Wi-Fi connectivity, said a top executive at state-run RailTel Corporation, which has partnered with the internet major to install Wi-Fi hotspots at 400 stations in India. Google will begin the work at Mumbai Central next month and the service is expected to be ready for public use by mid-October, A Seshagiri Rao, director-network planning & marketing at RailTel.
The Wi-Fi will be free for the first 30 minutes over a 24-hour period. It will be a high-speed network capable of delivering HD video streaming services and passengers will be able to download a movie in four minutes. Rao said customers will have to pay for the service if they use it beyond 30 minutes. RailTel and Google are working on the monetisation model.
“The focus is to provide seamless internet connection. Once we have seamless and uniform service, a revenue model can evolve,” Rao said. The Wi-Fi project was announced by Google’s India-born CEO Sundar Pichai on Sunday after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The initial target is to make internet accessible to one crore passengers at 100 busiest railway stations in India by mid-2016, and then expand it to 300 other stations, Rao said.