Google to offer free Wi-Fi in 400 railway stations in India

Narendra Modi in a group photograph with the Google Officials at Google (Alphabet) campus, in Silicon Valley, California
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, explained how the online search engine giant wants to assist more Indians to use Internet.

Google believes that more than 300 million Indians are already online. The Android OS maker wants the next one billion Indians to connect to broadband. Google does not believe in poor broadband speed. It wants Indians to enjoy high speed Internet connection.

The free Wi-Fi project was announced during the visit of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the U.S. headquarters of Google.

Pichai said the new broadband project will provide high-speed public Wi-Fi services in 400 train stations across India.

“We’d like to help get next one billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity,” said Pichai, who was born in Chennai.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the software major will have data centers in India to sell its growing cloud solutions to Indian enterprises. The U.S.-based software maker aims to partner with the India Government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages in India.

Google will be working with the Indian Railways and RailTel, a provider of Internet services as RailWire via its fiber network along railway lines to bring the first stations online in the coming months.

The strategy of Google is offer broadband network in 100 busiest railway stations in India before the end of 2016, with the remaining stations will be covered in quick succession.

Even with the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day.

“This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users,” said Google CEO.

Google promises that it will be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today.

The Wi-Fi service will be free to start. The long-term goal will be to make the broadband project self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places.

Baburajan K
[email protected]