Indian Railways is all set to introduce WiFi across 400 stations all over the country, and in some select trains (Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duranto Category). The stations where WiFi connectivity will be introduced are ‘A1’ and ‘A’ category.
This information was revealed by Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in Lok Sabha yesterday.
WiFi On Moving Trains
As per the statement issued by the minister, it seems that getting the desired bandwidth from Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) is the main concern for implementing WiFi in moving trains.
Work also needs to be done to create and modify ‘Power Cabs’, which has house satellite antenna and associated equipment. Apparently, the whole process of implementing this ambitious plan will take 18-24 months.
Last year in the month of April, Indian Railways had implemented WiFi on Howrah Rajdhani Express on an experimental basis, which incurred expenditures of Rs 6.30 crore. Considering that a train passes along all types of terrain, providing seamless connectivity is a major issue. Indian Railways have taken assistance of ISRO for using satellite communication link to provide Internet.
WiFi in Railways Stations
In October this year, Bangalore Railway Station became the first station in the country to have WiFi connectivity for all passengers. The service is free for the first 30 minutes.
Buoyed by the response, Indian Railways is now all set to implement WiFi across 400 stations, which fall under ‘A1’ and ‘A’ category. As per the statement issued by the Minister, work is currently on in 74 railway stations, and all the remaining 326 stations would be completed in the next 12 months.
Indian Railways has divided all the existing stations in 7 categories: A1, A, B, C, D, E, F. All those stations which generates revenues between Rs 6 crore and Rs 50 crore are categorized under A category, and more than Rs 50 crore are A1 category.
State of WiFi Connectivity As Of Now
As part of the ‘Digital India’ vision shared by our PM Modi, providing Internet connectivity across all platforms have become one of the most important priorities for the government, and all steps are being taken to implement the same.
Besides railway station, Bangalore has WiFi in important areas such as MG Road and Brigade Road.
Mumbai Metro provides WiFi connectivity across all trains and stations, and the results are encouraging.
Not to be left behind, New Delhi’s popular shopping place Connaught Place, Khan Market and Karol Bagh has now free WiFi connectivity.
Maharashtra State Transport buses are now offering free WiFi. Even Air India has started offering WiFi connectivity during flights.